Texas homeowners pay the fourth-highest property tax bills in the nation, when home values are taken into account. Despite Texans clamoring for real reform and relief, state lawmakers in the Texas House failed to deliver when they diluted and defanged the Senate’s proposal.
So, where do Texas homeowners pay the highest property taxes?
The numbers may surprise you. Families in Fort Bend, Collin, Travis, Kendall, and Williamson counties pay the highest total tax bills. That’s due, in part, to the fact that home values in these areas are among the highest in the state. But rising land values are not to blame for high taxes.
As appraisals increase, county, city, and school officials often refuse to lower their tax rates enough, if at all. Although some raise tax rates, most usually keep them flat. Politicians then pat themselves on the back and claim they “did not raise taxes.”
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Most Texans pay a higher tax bill every year simply because local officials refuse to lower property tax rates enough to fully offset rising appraisal values. Perhaps the most obvious example of this dynamic is seen in Kendall County. There – although tax rates are extremely low – the median home value is the highest in the state, resulting in homeowners paying the fourth-highest tax bills in Texas.
Below are the Top 50 Texas counties – out of all 254 in the state – where homeowners pay the highest property tax bills.
It’s important to note that the burden paid by individual taxpayers inside each county will vary dramatically, because property values and the tax rates imposed by localities are not identical. In other words, the above rankings only reveal where the cumulative cost of all local governments is the highest for the median homeowner, after adjusting for home values.
Again, appraisal increases are not the driving force behind skyrocketing tax bills. Tax increases ultimately result from local officials refusing to lower their tax rates enough to offset rising appraisal values. Taxpayers deserve real legislative reforms in 2017 that make it easier for them to hold local officials accountable for never-ending tax increases.