Apr 18, 2024 - News

The state of property taxes in Central Texas

Change in median property taxes, 2019 to 2023
Data: CoreLogic analysis; Map: Axios Visuals

Median property taxes in Texas rose 26% between 2019 and 2023, data shows, even as local and state governments took steps to reduce the impact.

Why it matters: Historic tax cuts last legislative session gave many property owners some relief this year, but tax bills are still much higher than they were before the pandemic.

Driving the news: The protest process for properties in the Travis Central Appraisal District ends May 15.

The big picture: With no state income tax, Texans pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation.

How it works: Property taxes are based on a home's assessed value and the local tax rate.

  • Money collected through property taxes supports schools, roads, emergency services and other public services.

State of play: The median property tax bill in Texas in 2019 was $3,900, according to data CoreLogic shared with Axios. The median was $4,916 in 2023 as home prices surged during the pandemic.

Zoom in: The median taxable value of homes in Travis County is $401,806, up from $378,765 in 2023, per property appraisals released last week.

Yes, but: The market value has actually declined in Travis County for the second year running.

  • Median market value in Travis County jumped from $411,261 in 2021 to $632,208 in 2022.
  • In 2023 it dropped to $592,819 and came down further this year to $551,419.

Between the lines: That's because taxable value lagged behind market value as the latter soared during the pandemic

  • Under state law, the taxable value of a property with a homestead exemption can increase only to current market value or 10% over the previous year, whichever is less.
  • Now the market value is tanking even as the taxable value continues to chug along.

What they're saying: Property owners who have a homestead exemption may see decreases in their market value, but increases in their taxable value this year, explained Travis Central Appraisal District chief appraiser Leana Mann.

  • "In a robust market, an exemption creates a gap between market and taxable values. When the market slows, that gap shortens," Mann said in a statement. "Still, a homestead exemption saved the average property owner more than $1,800 on their property tax bill in 2023."

What's next: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has asked state senators to study ways to further cut property taxes ahead of next year's legislative session.

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