By Rebecca LaFlure

Killeen Daily Herald

COPPERAS COVE – It's that dreaded time again for homeowners – tax time – but this year Copperas Cove residents will have a couple extra days to pay their property taxes.

According to Justin Carothers, the county's tax assessor and collector, the 2008 property tax deadline was extended to Feb. 2 this year.

By Texas law, stiff penalties will apply if the property taxes are not paid on time.

After Feb. 2, a 6 percent penalty and 1 percent interest will be added to the amount owed, and an additional 1 percent interest rate will be applied for every following month until the property taxes are paid.

For example, the interest rate will be 2 percent the following month, 3 percent the next, and so on.

If the taxes are not paid by July, a 15 percent attorney fee will be added.

Property taxes in Coryell County increased slightly in 2008, but not by as much as usual due to the weak economy, said Ron Johnson, Coryell County interim chief appraiser on Tuesday.

The Coryell County appraisal district estimates the market values on each property within county lines every year. The established market values serve as the basis for what local property taxes will be.

When real estate values go up, property taxes will as well. Typically, area property taxes continue to rise significantly every year.

"We look at what the markets are doing and look at comparable sales and construction costs, Johnson said. "The markets tell us whether taxes goes up or down."

Though the 2009 property values have not been established at this time, Johnson said he predicts a continued slowdown in property tax rate increases for Coryell County.

However, the county has some insulation from the economic downfall because of its close proximity to Fort Hood, Johnson said.

In September 2008, county commissioners said the tax rate for fiscal year 2009 did not change and will remain at 0.39907 cents per $100 of taxable property, however if the appraisal value on a home increased, then the tax rate will raise taxes for maintenance and operations on a home by approximately $20.48.

The majority of the revenue increase generated from the construction of new homes and businesses between January 2007 and January 2008.

"Next year's budget is supported by 2008 appraisals," County Judge John Firth said. "Taxes assessed on the (2009) budget are taxed on the (2008) tax year."

For information on exemptions and allowances made for senior citizens and disabled homeowners paying property taxes go to

Contact Rebecca LaFlure at rlaflure@kdhnewscom or (254) 501-7475.

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