The Galveston Tax Office (GCTO) assesses, collects and disburses property taxes for over half of the governmental entities in the County which means, depending on where you live, statements may be received from multiple governments and even multiple counties.
For example, GCTO collects for the Cities of Friendswood and League City, both of which are located in both Harris and Galveston Counties; so, if you live on the Harris County side of Friendswood, you will receive a tax statement from GCTO for the City of Friendswood taxes and then other statements from CCISD and the Harris County Tax Office. Some may also receive a statement for MUD taxes.
To find out who you may owe taxes to, look up your account on the Harris or Galveston County Appraisal District websites (see links at bottom of page). A complete listing of all taxing jurisdictions that you are responsible to pay property taxes to will be included on your CAD account information. Compare that listing to the list of GCTO's governmental partners below.
Property taxes in Texas are based on the January 1 market value of your property as determined by the county appraisal district (CAD). The CAD handles all ownership, exemption and value information on your property. Under State law, appraisal districts make all changes to property records and certifies the information to tax assessor collectors.
Each spring, CADs issue notices of appraised value, typically in April. You have until May 31st (or 30 days after the date of the notice whichever is later) to protest the value. Please check our forms page for a copy of the booklet, Effectively Protesting Taxes.pdf for additional information on the protest process and attend classes held each April and May.
After the appraisal roll is certified, local governments adopt budgets and tax rates. During the month of October, we produce tax statements and mail them to property owners and mortgage companies. Galveston County does NOT mail tax statements to both the property owner and mortgage company. Tax statements may be obtained (and taxes paid) online by going to our the County Tax Data Base link (large red button).
Property taxes are delinquent February 1. Unless you are taking advantage of a payment option, those payments postmarked AFTER January 31st will incur hefty penalties and interest.
Beginning January 2014, it will be possible to sign up for a low interest payment agreement. Call the office for additional information.
E-Statements - Participate in Reducing the Cost of Government
Each year you may sign up to receive your property tax statement(s) via electronic mail (email). Click the large red button on the homepage, locate your account(s) and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up.
You have several options when paying property taxes in Galveston County:
1. Sign-up online (www.galcotax.com and click on large red button) for emailed tax statement and help us help you save money! Then pay via online via electronic check or with credit card. PLEASE NOTE: Beginning with the 2013 tax year, we began transitioning to using the "short" account number (previously referred to as CAD or Appraisal District number). While we are in transition, please keep both the "long" and "short" numbers handy when making online payments.
2. Mail (use envelope included with statement). Postmarks are everything to us! Make certain the date you drop it in the box leaves time for a USPS postmark!
3. Drop in one of the marked boxes outside all but our Crystal Beach office location
4. Come in person—we love meeting our customers!
If you are a qualified senior, disabled person or disabled veteran and making payment on your homestead, you may be able to make four equal installments (by January 31, by March 30, by May 31, and by July 31) without penalty and interest. Installment payments may also be available if the Governor declares a natural disaster such as hurricane or drought.
Split or half pay—for all but Dickinson, Dickinson ISD and Galveston County MUD #12, you may divide your bill by two and, as long as the first half is paid by November 30th, the second half is not due until June 30th—no penalty and interest!
Can’t pay—call for a payment agreement. We may be able to save you excessive penalties and interest on your unpaid balance!
Information on Forms Included
Residence Homestead/Over 65/Disabled Person Application
Identification and proof of residency is changing September 1—as may this form. After September 1, contact the CAD or go online. This booklet will be updated as soon as new application form is available.
100% Disabled Vet
100% exempt from property taxes in Texas but you MUST QUALIFY
Application for Disabled Vet and Surviving Spouse
This form is also expected to change September 1. Beginning with the 2013 tax year, disabled vets are eligible to make four equal installments on their resident homestead taxes upon qualifying.
Seniors and disabled persons are eligible to defer their property taxes
which means they may be paid (once deferral approved) and if not, 8% interest per year is added to the unpaid balance.
Appraisal Districts serving Galveston County Tax Office