1. Local

Removing the Cap on Property Tax Increases

By October 20, 2007

Follow me on:

Early voting starts on Monday and Proposition 3 (House Joint Resolution 40) has language which removes the cap on property tax increases. Here's the first paragraph of Proposition 3. The bolding is mine for emphasis.

A JOINT RESOLUTION proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide that the maximum appraised value of a residence homestead for ad valorem taxation is limited to the lesser of the most recent market value of the residence homestead as determined by the appraisal entity or 110 percent, or a greater percentage, of the appraised value of the residence homestead for the preceding tax year.

Like I said above, the bolding is mine for emphasis. The indeterminate phrase "or a greater percentage" leaves the amount of the tax increase open to a possibly significant increase.

For example, take a home appraised for $100,000 in 2004. Often, tax appraisal districts won't reappraise every year, so the value of the home remains steady on the tax rolls--$100,000 in 2005, 2006, etc. If our homeowner is lucky, the home is worth more after several years. To make math easy for me, let's say the home is reappraised and shows up on the tax rolls as being worth $150,000 in 2007. As the law currently stands, the homeowner will only be taxed on $130,000--110% of the previous tax value per year or a 30% tax increase over the three years since the last appraisal--in 2007.

According to the wording in Proposition 3, This hypothetical homeowner would pay tax on a $100,000 value for the home in 2006 and tax on up to $150,000--a 50% tax increase--on the home in 2007. A 50% tax increase would shock anyone, but it can create a serious hardship in a low-income or fixed-income household.

I see no reason to give the legislature or the local tax district the right to increase taxes by an indeterminate "greater percentage". We need to keep the cap on property tax increases in Texas.

Read the full text of Proposition 3 (House Joint Resolution 40) or a list of all proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution.


November 6, 2007 at 12:59 pm
(1) Alexi says:

I am confused. I pay taxes on home property on yearly basis. Every time the tax bill contains some appraised value. Therefore, I would assume that the tax office considers this value as fair, and the appaisal process somehow was already conducted in some or other form, even if the number was just copied from last year. Therefore, there is no such thing as “not being appaised in five years”, IMO, and the whole ammendment is moot. Where am I wrong?

March 28, 2009 at 2:55 pm
(2) Nancy Bell says:

I have been trying to find a sample ballot for the upcoming election with the Homestead Tax Cap. I cannot find it on Dallas County Elections. Can you tell me where to find it or email me at the above address. We have a lot of seniors in our district and I would like to make sure they are informed.

Thank you. Nancy Bell

March 29, 2009 at 6:53 pm
(3) Heather Carr says:

Nancy, the homestead tax cap is not on the May 9, 2009 ballot. There have been rumors and email forwards sent around, but the Texas secretary of state says there are no statewide elections in May.


Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>
Top Related Searches
  • property tax
    1. About.com
    2. Local
    3. Dallas

    ©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.