The Galveston County Tax Office (GCTO) assesses, collects and disburses property taxes for nearly half of the governmental entities in the County (see listing below) which means, depending on where you live, statements may be mailed to you by multiple governments and even multiple counties.
For example, GCTO collects for the Cities of Friendswood and League City and both 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 from private tax collection firms. To find out who you may owe taxes to, look up your account on the Harris or Galveston Appraisal Districts websites. A complete listing of all taxing jurisdictions that you are responsible to pay property taxes to are included with the CAD account information.
Important Property Tax Deadlines are included at the Tax Office Events tab!
Cheryl E. Johnson, PCC
Galveston County Tax Assessor Collector
Property Tax Basics in Texas
Property taxes in Texas are based on the January 1 market value of your property as determined by the county appraisal district (CAD).This is the Appraisal phase of the tax calendar. 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 or provides the information to tax assessor collectors thus if you have an address correction, although we will provide it to the proper appraisal district as a courtesy, it will make the change and provide it to each tax office.
Each spring, CADs issue notices of appraised value, typically in April. This is the Equalization phase of the tax calendar. You have until May 15th (or 30 days after the date of the notice whichever is later) to protest the value. Please check our homepage and this page for a copy of the booklet, Effectively Protesting Taxes.pdf for additional information on the protest process and attend classes held between April and June (June class is the Phase I - ARB protests portion).
After the appraisal roll is certified, local governments adopt budgets and tax rates - typically during the latter part of the summer. This begins the Assessment phase of the tax calendar. During the month of October, we produce tax statements and mail them to property owners and mortgage companies. Starting last year, we mail to both property owners and mortgage companies due to a high number of mortgage refinancing and penalties and interest accruing on accounts in which a bill had not been sent. We recently were able to change the law to allow the waiver of penalty and interest if the incorrect mortgage company requested your statement. The 2020 tax year will be the LAST year we will mail to both the owner and the mortgage company as we will have a mechanism to have the penalties forgiven.
Regarding mortgage codes, there is no way to remove a code as these only appear after a mortgage company requests the statement. We suggest signing up for e-statements the first year to pay off a mortgage if you have doubts about receiving the statement.
The Collection phase of the tax calendar starts when we begin to receive your payments. Property taxes are delinquent February 1 (unless January 31st falls on a weekend). Unless you are taking advantage of a payment option (split or half pay or quarter payments - meaning the total amount is divided by four), payments postmarked AFTER January 31st will incur hefty penalties and interest. Those may be requested to be waived but there are few legal justifications for us to do so.
Having a hard time paying the property taxes on your homestead? Sign up for a low penalty payment agreement after February 1st. To avoid the burden of delinquent attorney fees added July 1st and set up a payment agreement (or anytime after the delinquent date - the sooner the better). ALL property owners are eligible for an installment payment agreement but a downpayment may be required. Call the Property Tax Department (409) 766-2481 for additional information.
Payment Methods & Options
Click on the large red button and pay online via electronic check, debit or credit card (fees apply). Although you will be able to print a receipt upon payment but files are not received by our office until the following business day for review. If you enter a bank account or credit card number incorrectly, we will receive an error message for your payment. We make every effort to contact property owners as quickly as possible when this occurs but penalty and interest could accrue if payment is made on a deadline date.
Pay via credit or debit card via telephone by calling 1-866-865-1433 (English) or 1-866-865-1435 (Spanish). Bank fees apply.
Pay via US Postal Service (use envelope included with statement). Postmarks are everything so be sure to drop in the box BEFORE the last pick-up time or mail a couple of days in advance to insure the proper postmark.
Place payment in an envelope and drop in one of the yellow (black in Friendswood) payment boxes located outside each GCTO location (except Crystal Beach). Please note date dropped in the box on the outside of the envelope.
Come in person—we love seeing our customers!
Payment options include
- Homesteads of seniors, disabled persons, disabled veterans, spouses of a disabled veteran or Governor declared disaster victims may be eligble to make four equal installments (by January 31, by March 31, May 31, and July 31) without penalty and interest. If in doubt, call us.
- Split or half pay—for all but Dickinson and Dickinson ISD, 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 (unless it falls on a weekend then the next business day) without 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!
Participate in Reducing the Cost of Government.
Each year you may sign up to receive your property tax statement(s) via electronic mail (email) but must do so by September 15th. Click the large red button on the homepage, locate your account(s) and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up. Once you are signed up for e-statements you will receive a statement via email automatically every year in October. In order to remove your request or update your email address please email us at email@example.com.
GCTO Government Tax Collection Partners
(note Clear Lake Shores has zero property taxes)
Consolidated tax assessment and collection services saves property owners money. We charge $0.21 per parcel to assess and collect taxes for Galveston County governments and $0.97 per parcel for partners with boundaries in Harris County such as the cities of Friendswood and League City. If your governments are not included in the listing below, ask them why not! Our services are less than their cost to mail the bill!
- Galveston County & County Road & Flood
- All Cities except Clear Lake Shores (it does not assess a property tax).
- Dickinson ISD
- Galveston ISD
- High Island ISD
- Hitchcock ISD
- College of the Mainland
- Galveston College
- Bacliff MUD
- Bayview MUD
- Emergency Services District #1
- Emergency Services District #2
- GC Drainage District #1
- GC Drainage District #2
- GC Fresh Water Supply District #6
- GC MUD #12
- GC MUD #44 (NEW PARTNER!)
- GC Navigation District #1
- San Leon MUD
- Tara Glen MUD
- WCID #1
- WCID #12
- WCID #19
- Westwood Management District
- PID Assessments for League City (since 2018)
- SOME PID Assessments for Dickinson will be added in 2020!
- Delinquent Taxes for Crystal Beach, MUD #1, MUD #2, MUD #3, MUD #29, SH MUD 3, SH MUD #6 and the State of Texas
Property Tax Forms & Information
- 2019 Protest Information
- Property Tax Forms
- 2019 Request for Confidential Property Tax Records
- 2019 Tax Statement Newsletter
- PT 30 - Request for Waiver of Penalty & Interest
- PT 30 USPS Affidavit.pdf
- Tax Deferral - Seniors and disabled persons are eligible to defer their property taxes which means they may be paid (once deferral approved) and if not, interest per year is added to the unpaid balance
- GCAD Change of Name or Address Form
- HCAD Change of Name or Address Form
- 2018 Military Request Waiver of P and I 05-16-2018.pdf
- PT 4 Designation of Delvery of Tax Refund Form (for agents) Fillable 05.03.2020.pdf