Tax Office Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Who do I make my checks payable to?
Answer: Please make checks payable to: Galena Park ISD or GPISD
Question: Where do I mail my payments?
Answer: Mail payments to:
Ben Pape, MBA, Tax Assessor/Collector
Galena Park ISD
P.O. Box 113
Galena Park, Texas 77547
Question: Can I pay my taxes by credit card?
Answer: Yes, please note that if you choose to pay by Visa, Mastercard or Discover credit cards a 2.5% convenience fee or Visa, Debit Card a $3.95 convenience fee or E-Check a $3.00 non-refundable convenience fee will be charged by Velocity Payment Systems. Galena Park ISD receives no portion of this fee. Please follow this link to view and pay taxes online:
Question: Can I pay my taxes by phone?
Answer: Yes, you may pay via phone with a credit card, debit card or E-check. Please note that if you choose to pay by Visa, Master or Discover credit card, a 2.5% convenience fee will be charged by Velocity Payment Systems. If you choose to pay by Visa or Debit Card, a $3.95 convenience fee will be charged by Velocity Payment Systems. If you choose to pay by E-check a $3.00 non-refundable convenience fee will be charged by Velocity Payment Systems. Galena Park receives no portion of this fee.
Question: Why can't I pay my tax bill in partial payments?
Answer: If you qualify for and receive the over-65 Homestead or Disability Exemptions, you can elect to pay your current tax in four equal installments.
Question: Is there a drop-box payment location for after tax office hours?
Answer: Yes. There is a drop-box located at the Galena Park ISD Tax Office, 14705 Woodforest Blvd., Houston, Texas, 77015, outside corner of the Administration Building.
Question: What if my mortgage company is supposed to pay my taxes?
Answer: If your property taxes are paid by a mortgage company and you receive a tax statement, write your loan number on the statement, and forward it immediately to your mortgage company for payment.
Question: Why do I have to pay taxes if I do not have children in school?
Answer: The Texas Property Tax Code requires school taxes to be assessed to everyone who owns property within the district's boundaries. Property taxes are based on the value of your property. Property values are determined by the Harris County Appraisal District (HCAD).
Question: I am over 65 years of age. Why do I still have to pay taxes?
Answer: The Texas Property Tax Code requires all property owners to pay tax on the value of their property regardless of age or whether or not they have children.
In addition to the $25,000 Homestead Exemption and 20% Local homestead exemption, the $10,000 Over 65 Exemption, Galena Park ISD offers an additional $7,400 exemption to taxpayers over 65 years of age. When you receive an Over 65 Exemption, you also receive a "tax ceiling" for your total school taxes; that is, the school taxes on your home cannot increase as long as you own and live in that home. The tax ceiling is set at the amount you pay in the year you qualify for the over-65 homeowner exemption. The school taxes on your home may fall below the ceiling, but cannot rise above it.
Over-65 homeowners are also eligible to pay their current taxes in four equal installments. The first installment is due by January 31. The remaining three installments are due by March 31, May 31, and July 31. Payments not received by the due date will accrue penalties and interest.
Question: What are exemptions? What are the types of exemptions?
Answer: Exemptions reduce the taxable value of your property. This lowers you tax amount. Some of these exemptions are:
- Residence Homestead - $25,000 & 20% Local - available for all home owners on their residence as long as they lived there on January 1st of the tax year.
- Age 65 or Older - $10,000 & $7,400 Local - Can be taken in addition to the Residence Homestead Exemption. Homeowners over the age of 65 may also arrange for a Tax Affidavit Deferral. You may choose to defer the collection of taxes if you own and occupy your residence and taxes are delinquent; however, a tax lien remains on the property and interest of 8% a year continues to accrue.
- Disabled Homestead - $10,000 - Can be taken in addition to the Residence Homestead Exemption; available to those who qualify according to specific guidelines. If you qualify for disability benefits under the Federal Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Program administered by the Social Security Administration, you will qualify for Disabled Homestead Exemptions. If you qualify for both the Over-65 Exemption and the Disability Exemption, you must choose one or the other for school taxes. You cannot receive both.
- Disabled Veteran or Survivor - You must be a Texas resident to receive this exemption. You also must have documents from either the Veteran's Administration or the appropriate branch of the armed forces showing the percentage of your service-related disability. Your disability rating must be at least 10 percent. This exemption ranges from $5,000 to $12,000 depending on the extent of the disability. This exemption can be taken on any property in Texas; it is not limited to the homestead property. However, you may pick only one property to receive the exemption.
Question: How do I get a Homestead, Over-65, or Disability exemption?
Answer:Call the Harris County Appraisal District (HCAD) at (713)957-7800. They are the only authority to grant exemptions for all properties within the Galena Park ISD boundaries. Also, you may obtain the necessary forms to file for these exemptions at the HCAD website. Click on the following link to be redirected to the forms section of the HCAD website: HCAD Forms
Question: How do you determine the appraised value of my property?
Answer: The Galena Park ISD Tax Office does not appraise property. This is done by Harris County Appraisal District (HCAD). Contact HCAD for dispute resolution at (713)957-7800. HCAD is the only authority to change the appraised value of properties within the Galena Park ISD boundaries.
Question: I am disabled or over 65 and not able to pay my taxes. Is my property subject to be sold by the Galena Park ISD Tax Office to pay for delinquent taxes?
Answer: Yes, unless you qualify your homestead for a Tax Deferral. However, your tax liability is only postponed and not canceled. Your delinquent taxes will continue to accrue at the rate of 8% per year once the deferral is granted. If a lawsuit has already been filed to collect delinquent taxes, you will need to file a Tax Deferral Affidavit. Contact Harris County Appraisal District to file for the tax deferral at 713-812-5800.
Question: What happens if I do not pay my taxes?
Answer: Legal action will be taken against you to collect on taxes due. That action may result in the sale of your property. If you owe delinquent taxes you should contact this office immediately at 832-386-1290.
Question: Can I set up an installment agreement to pay delinquent taxes?
Answer: Yes, if you qualify. An installment agreement may be set up to pay off delinquent years due. Contact our attorney’s office, Perdue, Brandon, Fielder, Collins & Mott at 713-862-1860 for additional information.
Question: I did not receive a tax bill in the mail. Why do I have to pay penalty and interest?
Answer: As a property owner, you are responsible for making sure that the taxes are paid on time. The statements are mailed and taxes are due at the same time each year. If you have not received a bill, you can print one from this website or you can call our office at 832-386-1290. You do not have to have a bill to make payment; just write your account number on your check with the correct amount. You may mail your payment or pay in person at our office. Texas Property Tax Code Sec 31.01 states that failure to receive a bill does not change the due date or waive the penalty and interest. It is the property owner's responsibility to know when taxes are due.
Question: I am the new owner and did not own this property the entire year. Why am I responsible for the entire year's taxes?
Answer:At closing, the property taxes should have been disclosed to you on your closing statement. Check your closing statement as to the disposition of funds due you for the previous owner's portion of the tax. This disclosure serves as notification of the property tax obligation, making the new property owner aware and responsible for the entire tax bill. The school district does not prorate taxes. Any proration of taxes should have taken place at closing. We do not accept partial payments of taxes. Therefore, the full amount of tax is due when the tax payment is submitted.
Question: I received a bill for personal property taxes, but I do not own any real estate; I just lease it for my business. Why am I receiving a bill on property I do not own? Shouldn't the property owner be paying this?
Answer: All businesses are taxed on their personal property, such as furniture, fixtures, machinery, equipment, inventory, and vehicles. Most likely, the bill you received is for business personal property and not for the real estate itself. The real estate is taxed separately and the tax statement is sent to the property owner.
Question: I closed my business. Why am I receiving a tax bill?
Answer: You will be liable for taxes on the personal property that you owned on January 1. You are not relieved of the taxes because you no longer own the property. It is important that you contact Harris County Appraisal District if you have changed locations or no longer own the business. If you do not contact them, your account may remain on the tax roll and can be assessed taxes in the future.
Question: What is a tax certificate and how can I obtain one?
Answer: A tax certificate is a certified document showing all delinquent taxes and may include current taxes. If delinquent, the certificate shows penalties and interest that are due according to tax records. The fee to obtain a certificate is $10.00 per certificate. Prepayment is required.