Over the past few weeks, Texas homeowners have been struck with appraisal notices that have left them open-mouthed.
Home values have skyrocketed by hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases. According to The Houston Chronicle, this is an example of Texas’ competitive housing market, as the state continues to grow.
“Asking prices for homes are increasing beyond anything you have likely ever seen,” the Bexar Appraisal District officials said in a statement this week. “Fewer properties offered for sale and high demand for housing means price increases that shatter records.”
In Houston, the average price of a single-family home climbed to $400,000 for the first time, and in San Antonio, median home sales have surpassed $300,000, as reported by The Houston Chronicle.
However, experts believe there is still no need to panic.
All Texans should remember home values are just the first step before property taxes are calculated, and homeowners have the opportunity to protest their quotes.
According to Dick Lavine, a senior fiscal analyst at the nonprofit Every Texan, property tax bills are based on two factors.
- The taxable value of the home is based on the appraisal and can be adjusted via protest and various exemptions. To appeal, you will need to present evidence that the appraised value doesn’t match the quote. Ask a realtor or consult your local appraisal district for help.
- Tax rates are set by local governments and other taxing units. According to state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, a Houston Republican, there is a silver lining to all of this.
“As home values hit record levels, tax rates will come down,” Bettencourt says, crediting the overhaul of property tax policies the state Legislature approved in 2019.
This will slow tax increases in the following years, but not completely eliminate them.
Another property tax relief Texans can look forward to is a homestead exemption. Most homeowners are eligible and it offers a $25,000 break on school property taxes.
And finally: Before the final tax bills are computed, Texans can head to the polls on May 7 to vote on additional property tax relief. On the ballot is; Proposition 1, cutting tax for elderly and disabled homeowners and the second measure seeks to raise the state’s homestead exemption to $40,000, as reported by The Houston Chronicle.