Harris County: Still owe on 2010 property taxes? Pay up now, or pay more


by khou.com staff


Posted on June 27, 2011 at 4:12 PM

HOUSTON – Harris County residents who still owe on their 2010 property taxes will owe more if they don’t pay up by July 1, Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Don Sumners said Monday.

"If you do not act now, a painful penalty will be added on Friday, July 1, and your account will be turned over to the collection attorneys of the government units we work with. Don’t do this to yourself. Waiting only makes it worse," Sumners said.

With penalty and interest, each $100 owed in taxes will become $142 on July 1.

Taxpayers can reduce their overall bill – which on July 1 will include an additional 23 percent penalty and interest on the unpaid delinquent amount – by setting up an installment agreement on or before June 30. "To see if you are eligible for an installment plan and to make these arrangements, please call us today," Sumners said.

Just call 713-368-2000.

Taxpayers who make a partial payment, even without an installment agreement, also reduce the amount of delinquent taxes owed and thus the cost of the additional 23 percent.

Whatever their choice, taxpayers can follow the Tax Office’s longstanding advice to "get online, not in line" and pay online or by telephone. Either way, please allow a few minutes so you can finish the transaction by 11:59 p.m. on June 30. The Tax Office teller windows will close at the usual time, 4:30 p.m., on Thursday, June 30.

"We can’t let persons who have many delinquencies delay persons who have one delinquent account or are trying to conduct routine business. So, we will do only five installment agreements per taxpayer before sending him to the end of the line," Sumners said.

The Tax Office accepts full or partial payment of property taxes. Taxpayers may use any combination of credit cards and/or e-Checks for payment online at hctax.net. Credit card and e-Check payments are also accepted by touch-tone telephone by calling 713-368-CARD (2273). We accept American Express, Discover and MasterCard credit cards, and VISA credit or debit cards. A non-refundable surcharge of 2.15 percent will be added to each credit card payment transaction processed. VISA debit cards will be charged a flat fee of $3.95. E-checks are free.

Persons mailing a payment should ensure that it gets postmarked on June 30. The only way to be certain of that is to take it to the Post Office and watch the clerk hand stamp the mailing date.