Fundamentals of the Texas Property Tax Code – A guide to understanding the process

The Texas Property Tax Code is the set of laws regarding property taxes. Within it are the laws specifically regarding property tax foreclosures and the sale of tax foreclosure property at Tax Sales or Sheriff Sales. The Texas Property Tax Code provides the fundamental guidelines by which all tax sales in Texas are run. This section is intended to generally describe each section of the tax code as it pertains to buyers. A further explanation of each section is offered as a link and gives more detail, but if you find that this is still not sufficient for your needs, I would recommend that you consult a property tax attorney. I am not an attorney and this is not intended as legal advice; it is just a simplified interpretation of the tax code.

Texas Property Tax Code: Chapter 34. Tax Sales and Redemption

Sec. 34.01. Sale of Property This section describes in very general terms the entire process of the tax sale from the point of tax foreclosure on an individual to the sale of the property and through the redemption period.


Sec. 34.015 Persons Eligible to Purchase Real Property – This section describes who is and who is not eligible to purchase at a tax sale including the requirement that a bidder provide proof of no delinquent taxes owed before being able to bid.

Sec. 34.02. Distribution of Proceeds – This section describes how the proceeds of the sale are distributed to lien holders and by what priority.

Sec. 34.03. Disposition of Excess Proceeds – This section describes what happens to any funds derived from the sale of the property that exceed the amount of liens and penalties on the property

Sec. 34.04. Claims for Excess Proceeds – This section describes the process a previous owner must take in order to claim any excess funds.

Sec. 34.05. Resale by Taxing Unit – This section describes the process by which properties that were “struck off” to a taxing unit from a previous sale would be sold by that taxing unit.

Sec. 34.051. Resale by Taxing Unit for Purpose of Urban Development – This section describes the process by which the specific type of property – “Property for Purpose of Urban Development” would be resold by a taxing unit

Sec. 34.06. Distribution of Proceeds of Resale – This section describes the distribution of proceeds to lien holders of proceeds from a “resale” by a taxing unit – not at a Sheriff’s Sale.

Sec. 34.07. Subjugation of Purchaser at Void Sale – This section describes what would happen to a property and the proceeds from the sale of a property if the sale was somehow voided.

Sec. 34.08. Challenge to Validity of Tax Sale – This section describes under what circumstances a homeowner may object to the validity of having their property sold and within what time period.