The City of Denton, home to the University of North Texas, joined a growing number of local governments across Texas in a property tax revolution of adopting property tax rates that favor taxpayers over growing government.

Denton City Council adopted the “effective” property tax rate—also called the “no-new-revenue” rate—of $0.590454 per $100 valuation. The effective rate adjusts as property values change to keep taxpayers’ bills roughly the same, in the aggregate, though individual results vary based on valuations and exemptions.

Texas’ Truth in Taxation laws require taxing entities to calculate and publish their effective rate each year to ensure the public is informed of any property tax increases. Year-over-year rate comparisons are meaningless because they don’t account for changing property values.

Data from the Denton Appraisal District shows that Denton’s adopted tax rate will result in a scant 1.59 percent increase in the average homeowner’s city property tax bill, from $1447 to $1470. This is a welcome change as from 2013 to 2018, the average homeowner’s city property tax bill rocketed up over 33 percent, from $1,081 to $1447.

The rate council members approved was not the initial rate proposed, however. The city originally wanted to hike the average homeowner’s property tax bills over 6 percent from last year. By adopting this lower rate instead, Denton now joins the likes of Colleyville, Southlake, Keller, Plano, Wylie, Collin County, and Montgomery County in choosing tax rates that favor taxpayers instead of opposing them.

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.