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Old 10-06-2007, 07:09 AM
 
1 posts, read 10,421 times
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My husband and I are wanting to move to the SA/New Braunfels area. Does anyone know where I can find a comparison of property taxes for the different counties. I have googled everything I can imagine but I have not come up with a comparison list. I have even gone to "comparing two cities." Please advise.
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Old 10-06-2007, 07:11 AM
Status: "just keep scrolling then?" (set 13 days ago)
 
14,613 posts, read 31,140,476 times
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You might just go to bcad.org and comalad.org and look at two properties with the same value and compare that way. It won't be side-by-side but at least you'll be looking at real data.
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Old 10-06-2007, 11:06 AM
 
168 posts, read 432,555 times
Reputation: 113
Default Property Tax Linx

Below are enough property tax linx to bring you up to speed. The general rule of thumb is that property taxes are much lower in the outlying areas of any county(Bexar County NOT included) and the tax rates are through the roof in large metropolitan-county areas like San Antonio & Austin because of two BIG reasons:

1. Zealously aggressive appraisers that can't raise local home values enough each year in order to feed the their own egos and the hungry tax entities for whom they are in bed with, AND;

2. Mind numbing tax rates that up until now were at least 2.5% of your home's sales price with an upward ceiling of 3.11% or so per year.

I don't think anyone would otherwise complain if they thought they were getting their money's worth but we're not. For 2007 alone, average appraisal value of a home in Bexar county rose more than 10%, and many homes saw a 20% or more increase. Of course, this is an all out effort to minimize the full effect of the anticipated property tax cuts rushed through the legislature in 2006 as it was an election year. While everyone should see a smaller taste of the reduction for 2007 (taxes to paid this November), it should all but be eliminated by 2008 through additional appraisals, putting us all right back to where we started.

As a result of the tax increases, nothing has been done for ordinary infrastructure such as traffic congestion. Almost every new high school being built cost $70 million or more and has a ceiling of ONLY 3500 students or so. The county is now fielding multi-million dollar requests from local universities, both public and private, for the construction of athletic facilities and other goodies. Both last year and this year, the money has been so good for the Northside Independent School District that they handed out a one-time "show up for work" bonus of $500 in 2006 and $400 in 2007. The growing numbers of veggies in our electorate make it nearly impossible to stop the funding onslaught against one's fiscal sensibilities. The taxpayer is easily forgotten in all of this so the taxing authorities/entities already know that they have ample latitude to have their way with the easiest source of cash ever, the Bexar county taxpayer.

Truth be told, you would be happeir in Comal county but they too have become moneymongers. Good luck in your choice.

San Antonio & Bexar County: Bexar Appraisal District
New Braunfels area: TaxNetUSA - TX : Comal : Search OR The official website of Comal Appraisal District
San Marcos area: http://www.hayscad.com
**Guadalupe County: TaxNetUSA - TX : Guadalupe : Search
**(East side of I35 for above counties)

Real Estate Sales & Tax info for largest cities in Texas: House Almanac (a work in progress)


Quote:
Originally Posted by gwyn View Post
My husband and I are wanting to move to the SA/New Braunfels area. Does anyone know where I can find a comparison of property taxes for the different counties. I have googled everything I can imagine but I have not come up with a comparison list. I have even gone to "comparing two cities." Please advise.
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Old 10-06-2007, 01:05 PM
Status: "just keep scrolling then?" (set 13 days ago)
 
14,613 posts, read 31,140,476 times
Reputation: 6656
And speaking of property taxes, I guess everyone just got their bill.

merry christmas............
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Old 10-06-2007, 01:18 PM
 
679 posts, read 2,603,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mastercone View Post
Below are enough property tax linx to bring you up to speed. The general rule of thumb is that property taxes are much lower in the outlying areas of any county(Bexar County NOT included) and the tax rates are through the roof in large metropolitan-county areas like San Antonio & Austin because of two BIG reasons:

1. Zealously aggressive appraisers that can't raise local home values enough each year in order to feed the their own egos and the hungry tax entities for whom they are in bed with, AND;

2. Mind numbing tax rates that up until now were at least 2.5% of your home's sales price with an upward ceiling of 3.11% or so per year.

I don't think anyone would otherwise complain if they thought they were getting their money's worth but we're not. For 2007 alone, average appraisal value of a home in Bexar county rose more than 10%, and many homes saw a 20% or more increase. Of course, this is an all out effort to minimize the full effect of the anticipated property tax cuts rushed through the legislature in 2006 as it was an election year. While everyone should see a smaller taste of the reduction for 2007 (taxes to paid this November), it should all but be eliminated by 2008 through additional appraisals, putting us all right back to where we started.

As a result of the tax increases, nothing has been done for ordinary infrastructure such as traffic congestion. Almost every new high school being built cost $70 million or more and has a ceiling of ONLY 3500 students or so. The county is now fielding multi-million dollar requests from local universities, both public and private, for the construction of athletic facilities and other goodies. Both last year and this year, the money has been so good for the Northside Independent School District that they handed out a one-time "show up for work" bonus of $500 in 2006 and $400 in 2007. The growing numbers of veggies in our electorate make it nearly impossible to stop the funding onslaught against one's fiscal sensibilities. The taxpayer is easily forgotten in all of this so the taxing authorities/entities already know that they have ample latitude to have their way with the easiest source of cash ever, the Bexar county taxpayer.

Truth be told, you would be happeir in Comal county but they too have become moneymongers. Good luck in your choice.

San Antonio & Bexar County: Bexar Appraisal District
New Braunfels area: TaxNetUSA - TX : Comal : Search OR The official website of Comal Appraisal District
San Marcos area: http://www.hayscad.com
**Guadalupe County: TaxNetUSA - TX : Guadalupe : Search
**(East side of I35 for above counties)

Real Estate Sales & Tax info for largest cities in Texas: House Almanac (a work in progress)
And all of this ripoff will continue until the citizens start standing up and saying "ENOUGH!!!". As long as the citizens sit back and "take it" nobody should complain. People have to start writing their legistators and making some noise.
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Old 10-06-2007, 03:00 PM
 
3,219 posts, read 7,987,284 times
Reputation: 1411
I think the new LBJ High School in SA will be the largest in Texas. I think cost is up to 160 million dollars now. What do you howeowners think of that
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Old 10-06-2007, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Western Bexar County
3,823 posts, read 13,347,445 times
Reputation: 1905
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastercone View Post
Below are enough property tax linx to bring you up to speed. The general rule of thumb is that property taxes are much lower in the outlying areas of any county(Bexar County NOT included) and the tax rates are through the roof in large metropolitan-county areas like San Antonio & Austin because of two BIG reasons:

1. Zealously aggressive appraisers that can't raise local home values enough each year in order to feed the their own egos and the hungry tax entities for whom they are in bed with, AND;

2. Mind numbing tax rates that up until now were at least 2.5% of your home's sales price with an upward ceiling of 3.11% or so per year.

I don't think anyone would otherwise complain if they thought they were getting their money's worth but we're not. For 2007 alone, average appraisal value of a home in Bexar county rose more than 10%, and many homes saw a 20% or more increase. Of course, this is an all out effort to minimize the full effect of the anticipated property tax cuts rushed through the legislature in 2006 as it was an election year. While everyone should see a smaller taste of the reduction for 2007 (taxes to paid this November), it should all but be eliminated by 2008 through additional appraisals, putting us all right back to where we started.

As a result of the tax increases, nothing has been done for ordinary infrastructure such as traffic congestion. Almost every new high school being built cost $70 million or more and has a ceiling of ONLY 3500 students or so. The county is now fielding multi-million dollar requests from local universities, both public and private, for the construction of athletic facilities and other goodies. Both last year and this year, the money has been so good for the Northside Independent School District that they handed out a one-time "show up for work" bonus of $500 in 2006 and $400 in 2007. The growing numbers of veggies in our electorate make it nearly impossible to stop the funding onslaught against one's fiscal sensibilities. The taxpayer is easily forgotten in all of this so the taxing authorities/entities already know that they have ample latitude to have their way with the easiest source of cash ever, the Bexar county taxpayer.

Truth be told, you would be happeir in Comal county but they too have become moneymongers. Good luck in your choice.

San Antonio & Bexar County: Bexar Appraisal District
New Braunfels area: TaxNetUSA - TX : Comal : Search OR The official website of Comal Appraisal District
San Marcos area: http://www.hayscad.com
**Guadalupe County: TaxNetUSA - TX : Guadalupe : Search
**(East side of I35 for above counties)

Real Estate Sales & Tax info for largest cities in Texas: House Almanac (a work in progress)
First of all, the appraiser does not set tax rates, it is the local taxing authorities. By law, the appraiser must value the property no lower than 90% current value. Now, this is hard to do as actual sale prices for businesses are not disclosed by law. This is a large area you need to address to the Texas Legislature as business property is assessed way under value. Of course, Texas being pro-business, this will probably not happen, so the residential owners will continue to bear the brunt of the tax base.

Secondly, the home sale prices are normally 10% or more than what the house is appraised at. The rapid rise in home values is due in great part to out-of-state buyers (be it people moving here or investors). Also, "greedy" home builders add to this rapid rise (what the market will bear).

Thirdly, at least in the Northside School District, home owners keep approving new bond issues that contribute to your property tax bill. Of course, with the rapid population growth, they need new schools, but some things are overdone. For example, I was talking to a plumber who helped install a sink and toilet in EVERY classroom in a new Elementary School in NISD. Whatever happened to common restrooms?

Bottom Line: Make sure you're targeting the right audience when protesting high property taxes. Also, don't just complain about the tax rates, offer some solutions. To start, here is the Texas link on property taxes:

Local Property Taxes
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:51 AM
 
168 posts, read 432,555 times
Reputation: 113
Default Overly aggressive property appraisals have directly resulted in substantially higher taxes in just 3 short years....

My post DID target the correct "audience" concerning the property tax issues in this county, ostensibly other concerned taxpayers or persons considering living in Bexar County. Although your reply is welcomed, it is the only critical one thus far in this thread. At first blush, your response appears to be authoritative but it is practically identical to the deliberate pabulum observed in at least two Express-News articles from the past year. More recently, a two-part series from less than a month ago (links provided below) touted the Bexar appraiser's excuses and smokescreens for the aggressively high appraisals that taxpayers have experienced under his tutelage since he became the appraiser in 2005. Those Express-News articles , titled "As property taxes climb, don't blame appraiser" and "Homeowners paying up for commercial undervaluation" were entirely sympathetic to the county appraiser, who has enthusiastically brought more financial joy to the various tax entities in this county than they ever could have imagined in just a few short years. Never before have I ever witnessed two articles from the media that seemed like direct dictation from a government bureaucrat's point of view. It's a must read to see my point.

This discussion couldn't have come at a better time as most property owners in this county have just received their property tax bill for 2007. In the past three years under this tax appraiser, I have seen my property value skyrocket by 54% on the tax rolls directly as a result of an overly zealous appraiser fond of excel spreadsheets used to systematically increase home values sometimes based on only a handful of sales in a subdivision. If inflation had climbed equally as much during this period, we would be in a county-wide depression.

To think that one could have successfully ended this debate with a link to the state's arcane property tax website, which is convoluted enough for the average taxpayer's attention span, is being unfair to the rest of the "audience." Since most citizens don't completely or thoroughly comprehend or even want to know the intertwining of the property tax system, perhaps due to a lack of interest, it's only fair that we spell it out for them. Line by line, I will address the issues you posited.

Quote by Steel Man: "...the appraiser does not set tax rates, it is the local taxing authorities."

Texas has a two-pronged property tax system that directly determines the property taxes you pay. First, there is the appraisal, the process by which your property is given a value for the coming tax year. Second, there is the tax rate set by each taxing entity within your taxing jurisdiction that applies to your property. Combined, these determine your total property tax for the year.

In Texas, property tax valuations are limited to 10% of the property value per year provided that it is homestead exempt. In such an instance, a property owner with an appraisal increase of 30% of the property value would ONLY see a 10% rise in their property value each year until that 30% increase had been fully incorporated into the property value notwithstanding even additional appraisal increases in subsequent years. Properties without a homestead exemption, i.e., rental and commercial properties, do not benefit from this limitation and therefore can see a full, unabated increase for the entire assessment of the property tax value as it occurs each year.

Tax entities in Bexar county do set the rate, but it is far more politically beneficial for these entities when the appraiser will do the dirty work for them as he is the one person who isn't elected. Since 2005, these entities tend to maintain the same tax rate or even include a slight but meaningless reduction for posterity's sake, despite appraisal values climbing 20%-60% county-wide in just three short years. As a result, these same tax entities each year exalt their fiscal prowess by claiming "no tax increase" or even a reduction in the tax rate, while their budget blossoms in more dollars year after year.

Bexar County has been suffering from "appraisal creep" since the 2005 tax year. In effect, the aggressively higher appraisals nullify the political liability for tax entities since they don't need to raise your tax rates in order to get more money. This was the intended point in my original post.
----------------------------------------

Quote by Steel Man: By law, the appraiser must value the property no lower than 90% current value.

Yes, this is correct as the appraisal records for the county are sent to the state and a sampling is made to supposedly verify and authenticate that the values are within that 90th percentile range of total market value. If a county's values are below this limitation, the state can withhold aid and a host of other funding from that county until compliance is met.

What is not mentioned here is that this rarely, if ever, enforced law/regulation is widely used by our appraiser to help justify the unbelievable double-digit increases in property appraisals for three years straight. To say that the state requires these increased appraisals because of that particular rule is one of convenience and not necessity. There are many lenient exceptions in the calculation of this rule but our tax appraiser is only interested in achieving the highest rate possible.

To demonstrate this point further I invite anyone to look at the neighboring counties' property tax rolls (some links provided in the earlier post) and examine the roll histories of properties in their subdivisions with increasing sales values. The sales prices in these locales are just as aggressive as they are in Bexar County with the exception being that the increases in appraisal value in the last 3 years have been half of that here in Bexar County. In fact, the tax appraisal increases in Bexar County are two-fold in comparison to properties in many upscale subdivisions of neighboring counties. Moreover, the sales prices in these neighboring counties, which is the primary determining factor in assessing the market value of any property in this state, have steadily maintained an equal footing to those here in Bexar county.

The question that everyone should be asking is why do Bexar appraisals have such a disparaging comparison to that of other neighboring counties? It's clear that the Bexar appraiser has implemented a far more aggressive method of appraising properties in Bexar county than in neighboring counties, so why doesn't the state mete out penalties to the neighboring counties for noncompliance with the "90% law?"

Perhaps it's because those neighboring counties are in full compliance with the 90% rule and no one at the state, county, municipal, or other level is going to complain about the Bexar appraiser turning in an appraisal roll that is probably well over the 100th percentile in values when compared to other counties in order to pass state muster under this 90% rule. You'll notice that the rule states a minimum of 90% but there is no maximum threshold under this law. There is no penalty for appraising the properties in your county excessively.
----------------------------------------

Quote by Steel Man:...concerning: valuing property no lower than 90% current value...this is hard to do as actual sale prices for businesses are not disclosed by law. This is a large area you need to address to the Texas Legislature as business property is assessed way under value. Of course, Texas being pro-business, this will probably not happen, so the residential owners will continue to bear the brunt of the tax base.

Sales prices are not required to be disclosed by anyone buying or selling property in this state. It doesn't just apply to businesses or the super wealthy. Again, this is now the second of the two "red herrings" floated by the Bexar appraiser in the aforementioned Express-News articles for which the links are below. Most tax appraisers buy a list of all properties and the resulting sales prices in their county from the MLS. MLS compiles all of this data mainly for the use of realtors who subscribe to the MLS but the data is also sold to many counties. What the appraiser does NOT have access to are non-MLS listed properties like high dollar homes and commercial real estate since these properties are NOT listed on MLS. If you buy a home for cash, even for double the price, from a private individual without a realtor being involved, the appraiser will not know what you paid. The existing law benefits everyone EXCEPT for those who choose to buy an MLS listed property.

The legislature did address this in the last session and it was not passed. Two local San Antonio senators have apparently bought the dead end logic that businesses are somehow getting over on all of us poor taxpayers. Even the bill's fiscal projections reflected a dollar month per Texan if the bill were to pass. I have provided links for the language of the bill and its estimated financial windfall for the state if the bill passed.

Even if the Bexar appraiser got his supposed wish (do you really think he has a hope of this ever passing? this is a ruse) down to the last letter of the proposed law, the total estimated financial gain (you can bet that it's a generous calculation) for bureaucracies at all levels within the state is roughly $12 a Texan per year in 2012. Well that $1 a month is not exactly going to get passed on to the hard working "residential owners" that "bear the brunt" of property taxes. In fact, it would just add more power and money to the bureaucracies in this state. This bill, albeit tantalizing if you fall for the hype from the Bexar appraiser, was a loser because even if it did pass, who do you think would be ultimately paying the property taxes for those businesses? It is rank and file taxpayers. Additionally, there would be many legal methods to avoid reflecting the real sales price such as side agreements, etc. via other states.
----------------------------------------

Quote by Steel Man: Secondly, the home sale prices are normally 10% or more than which the property is appraised. The rapid rise in home values is due in great part to out-of-state buyers (be it people moving here or investors). Also, "greedy" home builders add to this rapid rise (what the market will bear).

This is correct in that many of the new property owners in this county are from out of state and who recently had sold properties in states (like California & Florida) that had experienced rapid growth in real estate values. These buyers in many cases needed to avoid capital gains on their recently sold properties in those states, as their capital gains tax exclusion ($250K-single/$500K-married) was less far less than the total realized from the sale. To avoid the captial gains tax of 15%, they merely rolled any excess dollars into other real estate. In 2006, which saw a large amount of these sales, San Antonio was more than likely chosen as a large investment opportunity based on a Money Magazine/Forbes article listing San Antonio as the number one real estate investment city in America. This, in part, is what set most of what we see today in motion. See more of the reply to this in the next paragraph.
---------------------------------------

Quote by Steel Man: Thirdly, at least in the Northside School District, home owners keep approving new bond issues that contribute to your property tax bill.

This is true and I keep voting against the bonds and the increases. The problem in the NISD as well as other areas of the county is that the majority of the new population filling the new homes and becoming taxpayers are, according to NISD, mostly from California, Florida, and Mexico. Most of these new residents are probably delighted just to find a new home for under $300,000 much less one that is more than twice the size of one similarly priced in the state from which they came, that property taxes are the last thing on their mind. Being new citizens, they are also less likely to challenge the taxing authority if for no other reason than their lack of knowledge of the state or local laws. Moreover, this extraordinarily high influx of new citizenry serves to only dilute the voting strength of more seasoned or experienced Texans who see their strength in numbers decrease each year. It doesn't help when each bond election or proposed tax increase is dishonestly packaged as a "no new taxes" offer which misleads many of the uninformed to vote for the package as they are unable to comprehend that there never is a free lunch. That's because the tax entities, for now, don't have to increase the tax rates because they know the appraiser will increase the property value and resulting increased tax revenue for them. To say that the tax entities aren't working in harmony with the appraiser in this county would be inept.


----------------------------------------
Quote by Steel Man: "....don't just complain about the tax rates, offer some solutions...

If you had read my post more thoroughly, you would have seen that I implied a solution. Setting aside the feigned effort at fatherly advice, you have clearly mistaken a thorough discussion of this topic as a complaint. Terseness, for some reason, doesn't apply in all situations in this forum. One cannot offer solutions without first fully exploring the problem.

I vote in every election against each and every proposed tax increase. Although I am in the minority each and every time, it doesn't mean that I can't have an equal voice in the debate on the matter. While my vote obviously has not been enough in recent years, I believe my post clearly implied that others need to rise up against the continuing and wanton increases in our taxes. For what it's worth, that is one solution. Come to think of it, I didn't see any solutions coming from your reply. It cuts both ways.


LINKS OF INTEREST:

EXPRESS-NEWS LINK FOR ARTICLES about the BEXAR TAX-APPRAISER(cira AUG-SEP 2007):

"As property taxes climb, don't blame appraiser"
MySA.com: Commentary (broken link)

"Homeowners paying up for commercial undervaluation"
MySA.com: Commentary (broken link)

Senator Wentworth picks up the torch for the Bexar Appraiser:

"Fairer property tax system? Disclose actual sales price"
The Texas State Senate - Jeff Wentworth: SD 25 - News Release

Senate Bill 270 PARTICULARS (did not pass):http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillL...80R&Bill=SB270

Senate Bill 270 ANALYSIS:
http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/80R/analysis/html/SB00270 (broken link)
I.htm

Senate Bill 270 FISCAL NOTE:
80(R) SB 270 - House Committee Report version - Fiscal Note
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:54 AM
 
Location: San Antonio Texas
11,435 posts, read 16,425,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imaterry78259 View Post
I think the new LBJ High School in SA will be the largest in Texas. I think cost is up to 160 million dollars now. What do you howeowners think of that

Where is that located?
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:04 AM
 
Location: San Antonio Texas
11,435 posts, read 16,425,802 times
Reputation: 5224
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwyn View Post
My husband and I are wanting to move to the SA/New Braunfels area. Does anyone know where I can find a comparison of property taxes for the different counties. I have googled everything I can imagine but I have not come up with a comparison list. I have even gone to "comparing two cities." Please advise.

Bexar Cty is a lot more socialistic in its property taxes. All are forced to pay for the University health system, a taxpayer funded spend happy organization that is "supposed" to be a healthcare of last resort. San antonio city council also never sees a tax that it doesn't like. Once the city coffers go up, you'll almost NEVER see them lower the taxes despite increased funds due to widespread higher house appraisals. Recently, the council voted to lower the taxes by a whopping 1% ($20 on a $200k home)!, and it was like pulling teeth! My recently elected councilwoman ran on a platform of lowering property taxes, but was drowned out by the poorer districts who refused to go along with it. The councilwoman's office mentioned that our district produces 20% of the prop taxes (out of 10 districts) and that other districts feel that they would lose money by lowering taxes. meanwhile, you read about the aid to developers (coucilman gutierrez, mr bigspender) that goes on and you soon realize that the councilmen are not out to help the taxpayer out.

you are better off in comal cty. i have a friend that lives in bulverde who claims that the taxes are 1/2 of what they are in bexar.
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