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Old 05-14-2008, 06:25 PM
1 posts, read 1,437 times
Reputation: 10


I'm on the fence about following my career to Austin primarily because of awfully high property taxes. I know... no income tax, homestead stuff, blah blah blah....

Here's the problem...I don't know anyplace that has ever lowered property taxes. Austin is growing so fast ...do you think that property taxes will have to rise in order to keep up with the increase in population?
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Old 05-14-2008, 06:27 PM
1,961 posts, read 6,030,981 times
Reputation: 571
Property taxes actually got lowered in a bunch of places around here by 1/4 percent recently. I'm not sure why though.
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Old 05-14-2008, 07:23 PM
10,146 posts, read 19,523,080 times
Reputation: 5815
Two reasons it's recently been lower:

1 - The property tax relief that the TX legislature passed a couple of years ago:
Texas Governor Rick Perry - Report of the Texas Tax Reform Commission

2 - The law in TX requires that if property taxes go up (in terms of dollars), the taxing entities must jump through some hoops and go through a public notification process. That means if appraised values of an area go up, even though the rate stays the same, the "effective" tax goes up in the eyes of state government. So, many districts have been lowering the rate rather than go through the process required for the effective tax increase.

#1 is complete now, AFAIK. So no more relief from that. #2 effectively cancels out; the higher value appraisal with the lower rate means you will end up paying the same. And many of the taxing entities will go through the public notification process eventually, so the rate may start to crank back up. Also note that this is based on overall tax revenue of the taxing entity; if your individual property jumps in value, they don't need to go through any hoops and you will end up paying more.

Similarly, if the tax appraised values go down (it's been a few years since that has happened in many areas, but it does happen) ... the tax rates are usually increased to ensure the same revenue for the taxing entities.

The best bet is to make sure your appraised value stays as low as possible -- protest your initial appraisal after purchase, if it is more than the purchase price. Then protest every year to try to reduce the increase as much as you can.
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:55 AM
Location: Austin, TX
15,103 posts, read 34,815,219 times
Reputation: 8413
To make it simplistic, Texas is a great place to live if you are a two-income household in a moderate house, it sucks if you are a one-income household living 'large'.
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