A Hidden Property Tax?

By Hidden Property Tax

Over the last 2 decades, local property taxes have increased so rapidly that many property owners are being forced to sell their properties—and taxpayer frustration is reaching a boiling point.

In recent years, local taxing entities (cities, counties, etc) have netted tremendous gains in tax revenue due to rapidly increasing appraisal values. Relying on appraisal increases—not rate increases—enables taxing entities to claim that they “haven’t raised taxes,” when in truth, taxpayer bills have been increasing dramatically.

In addition, over the last two decades, the state has reduced its share of public education funding from 52 percent in 1985 to 44 percent in 2015. This drop in state funding has forced many school districts to raise their tax rates to their constitutional limit. In other words, as property values increase, the Texas Legislature has gradually shifted a higher percentage of public school funding to you, the local property owner.

That’s why it’s called The Hidden Property Tax.

We believe tax increases should be derived from the rate side of the equation—not the appraisal side. In other words, local taxing jurisdictions shouldn’t get an “automatic raise” on the backs of a property owner’s unrealized gain in property value solely based on the actions of an appraisal district.

Potential solutions might include lowering the rollback rate, requiring an automatic election if a tax entity exceeds the rollback rate, and increasing the states’ share of public education funding.

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