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Right here's what Houston's tax fee lower means in your invoice – Houston Chronicle


Houston must lower its property tax fee for the eighth time in 9 years to get under a cap on revenue handed by voters in 2004.

Metropolis Council will vote Wednesday to decrease the speed to 53.36 cents per $100 of taxable worth, down from 55.08 cents last year, a lower of about 3 %. Town accounts for about 20 to 25 % of a regular Houston property tax invoice, with about half going to highschool districts.

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The speed adjustment would end in financial savings of about $41 for the proprietor of a $300,000 residence with the usual 20 % homestead exemption, however that doesn’t account for any change in appraisal worth. Quickly rising property valuations imply most owners will see their payments rise. Even with the decrease fee, the town anticipates bringing in $1.27 billion in property taxes, about $27 million greater than it did final yr. 

In July, the town individually increased the property tax exemption for seniors and disabled residents from $160,000 to $260,000.

Houston voters accredited a measure in 2004 that caps progress in property tax income to a system that mixes inflation and inhabitants progress, or 4.5 %, whichever is decrease. As is common, the town hit the previous quantity this yr, and it should lower the tax fee to keep away from gathering extra income than it’s allowed.

Town first hit the cap in 2015, and its fee has fallen from 63.88 cents to 53.36 cents in that point, a lower of about 16 %.

Mayor Sylvester Turner has mentioned the town loses essential assets yearly to the restriction. If the town had been capable of hold its present tax fee, it could have entry to a different $332.7 million in income this yr, Turner mentioned. If it had been capable of hold its tax fee from the primary time it hit the cap in 2015, it could have introduced in one other $1.5 billion in that point.

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“For individuals who hold shouting about what we aren’t doing, there are causes for why we aren’t doing stuff,” Turner mentioned when he introduced the proposed tax fee earlier this month. “Down the stretch, these limitations are going to make it very tough for the subsequent mayor and the subsequent Metropolis Council members as a result of it is a system for shortages.”

Turner had campaigned in 2015 on a plan to amend the cap to rent extra law enforcement officials, and he pledged in 2017 to ask voters to repeal it entirely. Neither proposal in the end reached voters.

Since 2019, the town additionally has needed to adjust to a separate income cap imposed by the Texas Legislature, which caps property tax progress for all cities, counties and college districts at 3.5 %. If an entity needs to go above that progress, it should ask voters for approval. The Legislature didn’t apply the cap to itself.

Town’s voter-imposed cap has been extra stringent. If the town didn’t have its personal cap, it could have been capable of accumulate one other $29.7 million in income earlier than hitting the state cap, in keeping with projections from the Finance Division.

The state legislation additionally units what known as a “no new income fee” — the tax fee at which the town would herald the identical quantity of income because the yr earlier than. As a result of the town is exceeding that fee, it was required to place a discover within the Chronicle that it was rising taxes, regardless that it’s reducing its tax fee.

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