National Report Finds Texas Has Some of the Nation’s Highest Property Taxes

The Tax Foundation has released a new report with some bad news for Texas taxpayers that many probably already knew all too well.  The report, which proptxfocuses on property taxes across the nation, found that Texas has the ninth highest property taxes of the 50 states as a percentage of personal income. 

The report also documents how property taxes have skyrocketed nationally, and particularly in Texas, relative to personal incomes.  From 1993 to 2001, personal incomes rose more than property taxes every year, but beginning in 2002 property taxes not only began to grow faster than personal incomes, but did so at about twice the rate.  The report attributes this to rising property values and state and local governments cashing in on this trend rather than rolling back their rate accordingly.

Perhaps most alarmingly, the report found that the City of Houston has the highest effective property tax rate of any major city in the nation at $2.99 per $100 valuation.  While other cities had a much higher statutory rate, much of their property value is not actually assessed.  As a result, Houston's effective property tax rate is $2.99 compared with $1.16 for New York City and $.53 for Denver.

Also, Fort Bend, Williamson, and Tarrant counties made the Tax Foundation's dubious list of the 20 counties in the country with the highest median property taxes paid as a percentage of the median home value.  Most of the other 20 counties were in New York with a few in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Illinois – this suggests Texas counties are exceeding their peers in the South and West in the property tax burden they impose.

 In sum, this report shows that the groundswell of Texans calling for property tax relief are not hallucinating, but reacting to the very real and statistically demonstrable rising property tax burden that threatens the ability of Texas families to remain in their homes while meeting their basic needs.

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