Property Tax Cuts? Here’s how the Dems plan to take them away

The new school finance plan passed by the Texas legislature was supposed to bring property tax relief. And as someone who pays around $8000 in property taxes, I could certainly do with some relief. The plan was to reduce the property tax rate for school districts (taxes for which make up over half of the total property tax bill) by about one-third. That means all our tax bills will be substantially lower now, right?

Not necessarily. How much you pay in property taxes is dependent not just on the tax rate but also on the amount that rate is applied to – the valuation given to your property by the Appraisal District. Now the state’s property appraisal officials have commissioned a study that shows property in urban areas is "undervalued" by 15 to 40% and thus the state is "losing" $4 billion a year in taxes.

So Democratic legislator Mike Villarreal has filed legislation that would require "full disclosure" to the government of prices paid in all real estate sales. The point of which is to increase property valuations, which will increase property taxes, thus effectively taking away any property tax cuts that we might have seen from the tax rate caps (and perhaps driving the tax bill even higher than it was under the old rates with the lower valuations).

At present, Texas is one of only a few states that protect the privacy of real estate transactions. Sure, anyone can find out what size loan you took out when you bought your house, but they don’t know how much you paid down or what the total sales price was. Say goodbye to that last vestige of privacy if this legislation passes — and say goodbye to your "tax cuts" if you live in an urban area.

Read it and weep:


About debshinder

Technology analyst and author, specializing in enterprise security. Author of or contributor to over 25 books, including "Scene of the Cybercrime." Fourteen-year Microsoft MVP, married to Microsoft FTE Tom Shinder, and proud mom of two wonderful grown-up human children and three amazing Japanese Chin pups. In my spare time, I love to travel - especially on cruise ships - and write about my grand adventures.
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2 Responses to Property Tax Cuts? Here’s how the Dems plan to take them away

  1. Jim Lamey says:

    Welcome to the wonderful world of the DEMS trying to get all you have.  Here in Virginia Beach we have seen our real estate taxes rise about 28% this year, following about a 20% rate up last year.  The city council here budgets by figuring out what they want and then how much taxes they will charge the tax payers to meet THEIR greed need.  Your writings sound very much like a gent I met last week at a book signing here and whom I listen to daily – Neal Boortz.  If yo have not read his books – Fairtax and Someone\’s Gotta say it – I highly recommend them to you.  You will not be disappointed. 
    Your house looks lovely and the view is just super.  Envy!!!! 
    I read your comments weekly in the WXPNEWS and just wanted to come over and see who you were.  Not disappointed.  I spent 20+ years in Navy and then another 20 supporting the Navy\’s AEGIS Ship Bulding Program providing aircraft testing suport where needed.  In fact, we had contracts with a local helo outfit in Fort Worth – Air Center Helicopters. 
    Keep up the good efforts – enjoy reading your comments.  Thank you for being there.

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