Annual tax statements will be mailed the week of Oct. 24, and payment is due on receipt, according to Hays County Tax Assessor-Collector Luanne Caraway. Dripping Springs ISD statements will be mailed separately.
“We will send out approximately 80,000 statements for a total of $215 million,” Caraway said. The statements include levies from all taxing entities in the county, except for the Dripping Springs ISD, for real property, personal property and business taxes. Dripping Springs ISD has scheduled a tax ratification election for November 8, and bills for the school district taxes will be mailed out after the results of that election are certified. At the proposed tax rate of $1.62 per $100, the DSISD taxes would add about $41 million, bringing the total to $256 million, some $16 million more than last year.
Caraway urged residents to avoid penalties for late payments by paying promptly and by paying as much as possible by Tuesday, January 31, 2012, if they are unable to pay the full amount. Penalty and interest begin at 7 percent on February 1 and increase 2 percent per month until July when the penalty and interest reach 18 percent. In July, a collection penalty of 15 percent is added and the interest continues to accrue at an additional 1 percent per month.
The Tax Office accepts partial payments on current and delinquent taxes but they must be received by January 31 to avoid penalties for 2011.
“If you do not receive a tax bill and do not have a mortgage company or tax agent, please contact our office to make sure that we have your correct billing address, or visit the Tax Office website at www.hayscountytax.com to check your account,” Caraway said. “Under state law even if you don’t get a statement you are still responsible for paying your property tax.”
Residents who are 65 and older or disabled qualify for quarterly payments for their homestead property and no penalties or interest is assessed if those payments are received on time. To qualify, residents must file for this exemption and make the first quarter payment by January 31. Remaining quarterly payments are due by March 31, May 31 and July 31.
The Tax Office accepts cash, checks, money orders, credit cards and electronic check payments – there is a fee for using credit cards, debit cards and electronic checks.
Payments can be made at any Hays County tax office. The main office, currently located at the Hays County Annex Building, 102 N. LBJ Drive, San Marcos, will be moving to the new Hays County Government Center in late November. It is currently scheduled to be closed from noon November 30 through Friday, December 2, and reopen Monday, December 5, at 712 S. Stagecoach Trail. Customers are encouraged to call before coming to that office to verify it is open. The San Marcos office can be reached at 512-393-5545. Payments mailed on or after November 1 should be sent to the new address, 712 S. Stagecoach Trail, San Marcos, TX 78666.
Other tax offices are located in Buda at 500 Jack C. Hays Trail, Kyle at 111 N. Front Street and Dripping Springs at 195 Roger Hanks Parkway. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Kyle office closes from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. each day, and the Dripping Springs office is closed from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Fridays. To pay by phone, call 1-888-546-4337. To pay online, go to the Hays County website or directly to tax information at www.hayscountytax.com.