The Harris County Appraisal District has just released its 2008 home values and KHOU reports “the Harris County Appraisal District says most homes there increased in value, even though the Houston Association of Realtors says they’re selling for 1.7 percent less.” This inequity demonstrates once against that most of the promised state property tax relief is being offset by higher appraisals.

I checked on two homes of family members in Houston. The appraisal district’s market value of one went up by 17 percent while the other rose by 16 percent. Of course, pursuant to state law, the taxable value went up the maximum of 10 percent. Unfortunately, most people’s incomes don’t go up 10 percent every year (not to mention runaway energy and food inflation pressuring household budgets), which is why Gov. Perry and other state conservative leaders have been pushing a 5 percent cap, which so far has been stymied by taxpayer-funded local government lobbyists.

The lesson is, even as the credit crisis is eating away at Texans’ home values, don’t expect any relief from your appraisal district and the dollar-chasing local governments whose bidding they do.

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