Soaring Home Values and Property Tax ‘Sticker Shock’ in Texas

The quickly rising cost of housing in Texas comes with consequences. Rising property taxes have become a central issue in the state gubernatorial campaign.

May 6, 2022, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Texas Wind

Dallas Events Inc / Shutterstock

Texas homeowners are dealing with “sticker shock” as rising appraised home values come with a corresponding rise in property taxes, according to an article by Joshua Fechter for the Texas Tribune.

“The growth rate of home values in the state’s major metropolitan areas has surged by double digits. In Harris County, the state’s most populous county, residential values have risen between 15% and 30%, according to Roland Altinger, the county’s chief appraiser,” writes Fechter.

The median home value in Bexar County is up 25 percent. The median home value in Travis County is up 50 percent.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has made calls for property tax reductions a talking point on the campaign trail as he seeks re-election next year. His opponent, Beto O’Rourke, has blamed Gov. Abbot for the increasing cost of living in the state, which includes the increasing property tax rates.

Texas depends on property taxes more than any almost every other state in the country—only New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Alaska rely more on property taxes to generate revenue for governments, according to a 2021 report by the Tax Foundation (the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy also offers an interactive state-by-state comparison tool for exploring property taxes.

The article includes a section devoted to the proposed policy reforms meant to address rising property taxes in Texas. Among policies implemented are a homestead exemption of $25,000 and a property tax cap of 10 percent in a given year. Gov. Abbott is proposing a “taxpayer bill of rights” that would “further reduce school property tax rates, make property appraisals more transparent and limit local governments from taking on new debt without voter approval,” according to Fechter.

O’Rourke, on the other hand, is proposing a tax reform package that includes “making sure that the state picks up 50% of the tab for public schools, expanding Medicaid to ease the property tax bill for publicly funded hospitals, plus legalizing marijuana and taxing its sale,” according to Fechter. “He also floated the idea of legalizing casino gambling and sports betting as a way of generating more tax revenue.”

A lot more detail and discussion can be found at the source article below.

Friday, April 22, 2022 in Texas Tribune

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