Property Appraisal Caps Unlikely to Pass in Texas

Critics of a proposal to limit property value increases to reduce homeowners’ property tax burden say the measure would destabilize the housing market and cause cities to raise other taxes to compensate.

1 minute read

February 8, 2023, 9:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Texas Capitol Building

The Texas State Capitol dome in Austin, Texas. | RoschetzkyProductions / Shutterstock

Lawmakers and tax experts alike are rejecting proposals to cap year-over-year increases in appraised home values, and hence property taxes, for Texas homeowners, calling it a Band-Aid that simply shifts the tax burden to other property owners and distorts the real estate market, reports Jeremy Wallace in the Houston Chronicle.

“Though some Texas counties saw single-family home values rise 20 percent or more on average in 2022 (in Harris County, it was 21 percent; in Bexar County it was a whopping 28 percent), the experts see appraisal caps as a stopgap that ultimately won't drive tax bills down.” According to experts, some renters and business owners could see higher tax bills, while the wealthiest homeowners would benefit the most from appraisal caps. Currently, while appraisals are not capped, property taxes can only increase by 10 percent every year. 

Appraisal caps are one of several recent proposed measures aimed at reducing taxes for homeowners in the state. Two state bills passed in 2019 limited school tax increases and overall tax growth without voter approval, and Governor Greg Abbott “promised to use at least $13 billion of the budget surplus for ‘historic’ property tax relief.”

Sunday, February 5, 2023 in Houston Chronicle

Single-family homes in a suburban neighborhood in Florida.

New Florida Law Curbs HOA Power

The legislation seeks to cut down on ‘absurd’ citations for low-level violations.

June 16, 2024 - The Guardian

Three colorful, large beachfront homes, one khaki, one blue, and one yellow, with a small dune in front and flat sand in foreground.

Florida Homeowners 'Nope Out' of Beach Restoration Over Public Access

The U.S. Corps of Engineers and Redington Shores, Florida are at a standstill: The Corps won’t spend public money to restore private beaches, and homeowners are refusing to grant public access to the beaches behind their home in return for federal assistance.

June 7, 2024 - Grist

Multistory apartment building under construction.

New Tennessee Law Allows No-Cost Incentives for Affordable Housing

Local governments in the Volunteer State can now offer developers incentives like increased density, lower parking requirements, and priority permitting for affordable housing projects.

June 10, 2024 - Nooga Today

Green meadow with water running through and trees on either side in Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite Meadow Undergoing Major Restoration

Rangeland recently acquired from private owners is being restored to a more natural state thanks to a purchase by the Trust for Public Land.

1 hour ago - San Francisco Chronicle

Large black SYV driving down city street with blurred background.

GAO to Investigate How Vehicle Design Impacts Safety

A lax set of rules around vehicle size, height, and other factors is partly responsible for the alarming rise in pedestrian deaths in the United States.

2 hours ago - Streetsblog USA

Worker in yellow safety suit holding up orange SLOW sign on road

New Orleans Faces $1 Billion Shortfall for FEMA-Funded Roadwork

After years of delays, cost overruns, and deadline extensions on a FEMA-funded street repair program, New Orleans officials face a massive funding shortfall and accusations of mismanagement.

3 hours ago -

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.