County Tax Offices Adjust to COVID-19 Conditions

As Texas began to shut down, tax offices were faced with tough decisions about how to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tax assessor-collectors quickly examined the situation and made decisions based on the needs in their counties. Some tax offices closed completely to the public, continuing to process mail-in and online submissions, and others offered drive-through options where possible.

July 27, 2020

Legislative News

  • Share this:

As Texas began to shut down, tax offices were faced with tough decisions about how to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tax assessor-collectors quickly examined the situation and made decisions based on the needs in their counties. Some tax offices closed completely to the public, continuing to process mail-in and online submissions, and others offered drive-through options where possible. Throughout the pandemic, tax assessor-collectors began installing Plexiglas at service windows and  implementing other procedures to keep employees and the public as safe as possible, in anticipation of when their offices would be able to resume business as usual.
With the recent rise in COVID-19 cases surging statewide, tax assessor-collectors are again faced with those tough decisions on operating safely. Many tax assessor-collectors in areas with high case counts must determine whether it is safe to continue with in-person transactions, to operate with a skeleton crew, to offer reduced hours for in-person transactions or to completely revert to only online or mail-in options.  
Under Gov. Greg Abbott’s statewide shelter-in-place order, many car dealerships continued to operate as essential businesses. The different levels of availability for tax offices to process the necessary auto paperwork created opportunities for tax assessor-collectors to collaborate with one another to ensure that the paperwork was processed, and to strengthen their relationship with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). To ensure auto industry knew the level of availability in the county, each tax office submitted its status to the DMV website as a resource for dealerships.
This resource is still available today and is a great tool not only for dealerships but also for the public. This online customer service tool can be used to highlight what paperwork processing options are available. Additionally, many tax assessor-collectors update their county and tax websites regularly as an additional resource for the public.
For more information on this article, please contact Katy Estrada.