The City's annual ad valorem property tax is required to be levied by October 1, or as soon thereafter as practicable, on the assessed value listed as of the prior January 1 for all real and certain personal property. Taxes are due on January 31 of the year following the year of the levy. A lien is placed on taxable property if the assessment remains unpaid as of June 30 of the year following the year of the levy. The tax rate established by the City Council for the 1997 tax year was $0.665 per $100 of assessed value with $0.480 for operations and $0.185 for debt service.

    The City Charter limits the property tax rate to $0.50 per $100 of assessed valuation excluding taxes levied for "debt service", as that term is defined in Section 1 of Article III of the City Charter.

    The Texas Property Tax Code ("Code"), with certain exceptions, exempts intangible personal property, household goods, and family-owned automobiles from taxation. In addition, the Code provides for countywide appraisal districts. Since January 1, 1983, the appraisal of property within the City has been the responsibility of the countywide appraisal district.

    The appraisal district is required under the Code to appraise all taxable property within the appraisal district on the basis of 100% of its appraised value and is prohibited from applying any assessment ratios. The value of real property within the appraisal district must be reviewed every four years. However, the City may, at its own expense, require annual reviews of appraised values. The City may challenge appraised values established by the appraisal district through various appeals and, if necessary, take legal action.

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