One of the primary responsibilities of the Office of Tony Yzaguirre Jr., Cameron County Tax Assessor-Collector, is to levy, collect and disburse property taxes. Property taxes also are known as ad valorem taxes because the taxes are levied on the value of the property.
The Cameron County Appraisal District handles ownership corrections/updates, address changes and establishes taxable values. Anything that might change the value, such as an exemption, property description or protest, is handled by the Appraisal District. (Visit the Cameron County Appraisal District for further information.)
When the certified appraisal roll is received from the Cameron Appraisal District, the property values are loaded into the Tax Office’s internally developed computer system. The governing body of each taxing unit, the Commissioners Court for the County, sets the tax rate. The certified appraisal roll and the tax rates are used to levy the current property taxes in October of each year. Tax statements are then printed and mailed to property owners, tax agents and mortgage companies. Mailed in tax payments are scanned, and the checks are deposited, recorded and processed through our county RPD (Remittance Process Document) system using the statement coupon. Most importantly, the Texas Property Tax code Sec. 31.01(g) states that “…failure to send or receive a tax bill does not affect the validity of the tax, penalty or interest, the due date, the existence of a tax lien, or any procedure instituted to collect tax”. Thereafter, the Tax Office disburses the taxes collected to the various taxing entities for which it serves as collector. Furthermore a representative from the Cameron Appraisal District comes to the Brownsville Main Office every first and third Wednesday of the month, from 8:30 a.m. thru 12:00 p.m. They are here to help taxpayers fill out tax exemption applications and to answer any questions they might have.
The Bookkeeping Property Tax Division in the Brownsville main office is responsible for processing all supplemental changes from the Cameron Appraisal District (value changes, exemptions, rollback taxes, etc.). The division handles NSF (Non-sufficient Funds) checks, questions concerning Tax Lien Transfers, property tax refunds, Bankruptcy Payments, Mortgage Payments and resolves double property tax payment issues. Individuals wanting to participate in a Tax Foreclosure Sale are required by the Texas Property Tax Code Section 34.015 (Persons Eligible to Purchase Real Property) to obtain a Statement of No Delinquent Taxes. Download Form 50-307 from the Bookkeeping Property Tax Division. Also, the division handles questions concerning the Street Light District, a community improvement project, created by the Cameron County Commissioners Court in September 8, 2008 to provide light to unincorporated areas in the county. The Texas Association of Counties Leadership Foundation awarded the Cameron County Street Light Project with the 2009 County Best Practices Innovation Award on August of 2009 for outstanding innovation in community improvements for county government facilities, processes and programs.
The tax office accepts property tax payments online, by mail or in person. For online payments you may pay with e-checks or credit card (Discover, MasterCard, Visa, or American Express) available (24/7). If making payments over the counter, the tax office accepts cash, checks, money orders and credit cards (Discover, MasterCard, Visa or American Express); Convenience Fee of 3% for transactions over $100; $3 for transactions $100 or less when using a debit and/or credit card. If total current tax is paid by January 31, no penalty and interest is charged. Partial payments are accepted.
Current taxes that remain unpaid on February 1 of the following year become delinquent and are assessed penalty and interest. Taxes that remain delinquent on business personal property may incur an additional collection fee of 15-20% after April 1st. Delinquent taxes on real property incur the additional collection fee on July 1.