Texas Homeowners Hit Hard by Skyrocketing Property Taxes

Imagine buying a home for $200,000, only to wake up one day to a tax bill reflecting a $650,000 valuation. Shocking? For many Texans, this is the harsh reality. The Lone Star State, known for its booming real estate market, is now seeing the effects ripple into property taxes. With rates ranging from 1.5-1.8% in the county and soaring to 2.5-3% within city limits, the financial strain is palpable.

The crux of the issue? Assessed values aligning with the market’s skyrocketing prices. For long-time homeowners who’ve watched their investment’s value soar, the new tax bills are a rude awakening. But let’s talk about the newcomers—those who dove into Texas’ real estate frenzy with eyes wide open, yet hoped for a perpetual bargain on taxes.

This situation opens a broader conversation about market dynamics, government policy, and the fine balance between growth and affordability. As we navigate these turbulent waters, one thing becomes clear: informed decisions and community engagement are more crucial than ever.

In the 1990s, I held an Ad Valorem Property Tax license and represented more than 400 clients in both formal and informal hearings in Travis County, Texas. I found the representatives to be fair and open to individual case circumstances. However, recently I am uncovering what I believe to be fallacies in the system regarding lower-spectrum property owners who do not know the short window to protest egregious overvaluations. It saddens me.

In these cases, the County Appraisal Districts (CADs) could do a much better job addressing houses in disrepair conditions that get lumped in with others that are well-maintained. The system’s shortcomings disproportionately affect those least able to afford sudden tax increases, highlighting the need for more equitable appraisal practices and better public awareness of protest opportunities.

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