Texas property taxes are no joke and the Bell County property tax rate is definitely not an exception. There are various factors associated with your property taxes and we’re going to try to help you make sense of them.
Keep in mind that this is only an overview, but I think you’ll have a great idea of what your taxes will look like each month.
What Are Property Taxes in Texas?
Texas does not have an income tax like many (not all) other states do, but instead they have much higher property taxes than other states.
Why is this? Well they need to generate income for critical services and local infrastructure and property taxes fit that mold.
You should know that the property tax rate varies from locale to locale. This means, depending on the city and county you live in, you may have higher or lower taxes.
We can’t cover every scenario in this article, but we can give you a general idea of the taxes you would expect to pay in Bell County.
Current Tax Rate in Bell County, TX
As mentioned, there are various factors that go into figuring the tax rate for a given home. These factors vary based on where the home is physically located.
To calculate the overall tax rate for your home – or the home you’re interested in buying – use the formula (Tax Rate / 100) x Property Value = Estimated Tax. Do that for each tax associated with the locale you’re looking at.
Example Home #1
To make it easier for you to understand, we’ll use a home in Nolanville, TX with an assessed value of $200,000.
|Description||Tax Rate||Property Value||Estimated Tax|
|Central Texas College||0.127900%||$200,000||$255.80|
|Bell County Road||0.029200%||$200,000||$58.40|
|Killeen ISD (Schools)||1.161100%||$200,000||$2,322.20|
|City of Nolanville||0.515600%||$200,000||$1,031.20|
|Bell County WCID #3||0.037600%||$200,000||$75.20|
|Bell County WCID #6||0.029700%||$200,000||$59.40|
The home owner in our example will pay $4,650.94 per year in property taxes. This may come off as a staggering amount, but split this over the course of a year ($387.58) and you have the monthly tax.
Those moving into the area from out of state can compare that to the state income taxes they’ve paid from other states and it’s generally comparable.
Example Home #2
Let’s use another example, but this time we’ll use a home in Killeen. We’ll give the home an assessed value of $350,000.
|Description||Tax Rate||Property Value||Estimated Tax|
|Central Texas College||0.127900%||$350,000||$447.65|
|Bell County Road||0.029200%||$350,000||$102.20|
|Killeen ISD (Schools)||1.161100%||$350,000||$4,063.85|
|City of Killeen||0.749800%||$350,000||$2,624.30|
The total for this homeowner in Killeen, TX would be $8,723.30 per year or $726.94 per month. That’s nearly double that of our Nolanville example, yet the assessed value isn’t close to double.
Although there are some differences between the two, Killeen’s tax rate is higher than Nolanville’s tax rate.
Be sure to discuss the tax rates with your Realtor when you’re looking for a home in Bell County.
In the meantime, you can look up homes in the area for yourself to get an idea of what you will pay each month.
Where to Find the County Tax Rate (Bell CAD)
Bell County makes it very easy to find and understand property taxes for all homes in the area. You can check out the interactive map on the Bell CAD website. CAD stands for County Appraisal District. The other counties in the area have similar websites so be sure to check for those as well.
Search for the property in question, select the property detail information for the year you’re looking for and scroll down until you see the property taxing jurisdiction. There you’ll find a chart similar to what we laid out above.
If you’re just looking to get an idea of the taxes and don’t have a specific address to look up, just go to the interactive map and you can select a property. This will give you an estimate of what taxes you’ll pay in what neighborhoods.
I know these taxes may seem high, but don’t worry. There are tax breaks if you qualify.
Ways to Lower Your Property Tax Requirements
There are really one of two ways to lower your property tax requirements. You can either lower the assessed value of your home or lower your taxable requirement. Either way, you may end up paying less in the end.
Appeal Assessed Value of the Home
Did you know that you can appeal the assessed value of your home to lower your taxes? You absolutely can!
As we’ve discussed, the Bell County property tax rate is multiplied by the assessed value of your home. The CAD assesses the value of all of the homes in their jurisdiction on a rotational basis. Sometimes their assessments don’t seem accurate based on information you’re aware of such as a home that sold down the street.
You’re able to appeal to the county appraiser and provide supporting documentation for your case. If the house down the street sold for $0.90 per square foot and yours is appraised at $0.95 per square foot, yet the houses are basically identical, appeal it! Show them where that home sold for a certain amount and why yours should be the same.
I’ve heard hesitations on this before because homeowners don’t want the value of their home to decrease; however, there is zero correlation on what the home is worth and the taxable assessed value.
Tax Exemptions and Breaks
You may qualify for various property tax breaks that will help bring down your taxes. If you’re so inclined, feel free to read through the Texas code for tax exemptions.
If your house is your primary residence and it is on less than 20 acres, you may qualify for the basic homestead tax exemption. You can get up to $25,000 off of the school taxes as well as some others in certain areas. In other words, if we used our example above, you would pay the school tax on $175,000 instead of the $200,000.
Disabled Persons and Senior Citizens
Just like the homestead tax exemption noted above, if you’re 65 or older you can get an additional $10,000 of of the school tax. Of course some jurisdictions may allow for more exemptions than just this.
Depending on the severity of your disability as rated by the VA, you may qualify for anywhere from $12,000 off your assessed value or no property taxes at all. Veterans that have a disability 70% or below will get an exemption up to $12,000 whereas veterans with 100% disability receive an exemption for the total appraised value of the home (no taxes).
Veterans Surviving Spouse
Spouses of disabled veterans that pass away are entitled to the same benefits their spouse was receiving. That is, if they have not remarried. If the service member dies on active duty their spouse and children may be eligible for tax exemptions as well.
As you’re learned by now, there are numerous factors that go into how much you pay in property taxes, especially in Bell County, TX.
Of course these factors vary from county to county and even city to city, but leveraging the right tools and the right people can give you the correct rate.