Harris County residents have paid the same property tax rate since 2007, but property owners may notice a different number on their tax bill this year. Commissioners Cagle and Radack recently forced a countywide tax rate cut after defeating a proposal to increase taxes by 8%.
Wondering how these changes will affect your tax bill? We’ve rounded up some of your most frequently asked questions below:
How do I determine my tax bill?
Tax bills are determined by multiplying tax rates by a property’s taxable value. The Harris County Appraisal District, which is unrelated to Harris County government, determines taxable values. Individual governing bodies set tax rates.
What does Harris County’s tax rate include?
The “overall” Harris County property tax rate comprises four different rates — the Harris County Hospital District, the Harris County Flood Control District, the Port of Houston Authority and Harris County itself.
Why did I get a tax cut?
State law dictates that if a quorum is not reached at meetings at which a tax increase is to be enacted, the tax rate will revert to the “effective” tax rate.
The effective tax rate is calculated by determining the tax rate necessary to raise the same amount of revenue as the previous year. Because property values have increased since last year, the tax rate was lowered.
What is the new tax rate?
The new tax rate is 61.170 cents, down from 62.998 cents and a decrease of 1.828 cents. As a result of the tax cut, the average homeowner would pay $30.35 less in taxes. However, the rate cut may be offset for some by rising property values.
County Judge Lina Hidalgo and commissioners Rodney Ellis and Adrian Garcia proposed raising the tax rate to 65.26 cents, a 2.262 cent (or 8% increase) from last year.
How will this affect the county budget?
Despite the tax cut, the county will still see nearly $37.2 million more in tax collections. Collections at the previous tax rate would have netted about $120 million more.
The proposed tax rate increase would have added more than $222 million to county coffers.
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