Homeowners in Texas cities such as Houston and San Antonio saw a tax cut on their owner-occupied properties last year. On average, property taxes in Bexar County decreased by about $70 and in Harris County by $50.
Property tax cuts are set to be a priority for Texas Republican leaders during the next legislative session. Changes made in the past few years, including caps on property tax increases, a state buydown of school property taxes, new public notice requirements, changes to the appraisal process, and increased homestead exemption amounts, have helped to lower tax bills in most of the state’s 254 counties.
However, in some counties, such as El Paso and Tarrant, property owners have seen average increases of over $100 as appraised home values increase.
Texas lawmakers are looking to provide tax relief as one of their top priorities this legislative session. Ideas being floated include reducing school taxes by sending more state funding to school districts, increasing homestead exemption up to $40,000 or more, cutting the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax, implementing a rebate program, reducing business property taxes, and setting limits on how high home appraisals can rise in a single year. Despite these potential measures, Texas still has some of the highest property taxes in the nation.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said that property tax reforms in Texas are finally working to prevent property appraisals from drastically increasing tax bills.
In 2019, Gov. Greg Abbott signed two measures to help lower tax bills, and the state has increased the homestead exemption for homeowners. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and 2021 winter storm, property tax bills in Texas remain largely in check. Inflation is at 9%, but for many, their property tax bills are actually lower this year than last.