Hays County property tax protestors get some insight on their pending requests

By Sahar Chmais

HAYS COUNTY – Residents protesting their property appraisal with the Hays County Appraisal Review Board who have not heard back may have some questions. About 1,800 protests within the county are still pending.

Hays County Tax Assessor-Collector Jennifer O’Kane has some insight on this issue.

“My office has to have a value from the Hays Central Appraisal District (CAD) to create a property tax bill,” O’Kane said. “If there is no bill, there is no delinquency.”

O’Kane said she understands residents’ concern about missing a tax payment deadline if they are in this situation. But if residents have not received their 2020 tax bill, they will receive one from the Hays County Tax Assessor-Collector’s office once the 2020 appeal closes.

“I want to assure you,” O’Kane said, “that until your protest is heard, decided on and sent to the tax office, you will not have a delinquent bill.”

Property owners have some time, O’Kane assured residents. Once the bill is generated, property owners have until the first of the following month that allows for 21 days to pay the taxes without penalties and interest.

If residents want to avoid this wait, they may make a prepayment. The payment will be held in escrow and applied to the bill when it is generated.

If a value was certified by the CAD and the tax office, but a taxpayer filed a late protest, they are required to pay the taxes by deadline, explained O’Kane.

“Taxpayers can take the risk that they will win their protest and pay only the undisputed amount,” O’Kane said, “but should they lose the protest, penalty and interest may have already accrued if not paid by Feb. 1.”

The deadline to pay a property tax bill without incurring penalties and interest is Feb. 1 because the regular deadline falls on a weekend. Bills are still on time if paid by Feb. 1.

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