Property Tax Rate Remains Unchanged While Values Rise
By iHeartMedia’s Nik Rajkovic
Harris County’s property tax rate will remain flat this year, though bills will likely continue to rise along with property values.
The median home value was $225,000 in August, up from $216,000 in August 2015. Those bills rose from $1,361 to $1,417 during that time.
Commissioners Court voted Wednesday to keep the rate essentially the same as 2015, 62.998 cents per $100.
The overall rate includes the Harris County Flood Control District, the Port of Houston and the Harris County Hospital District.
Rates went up slightly for the flood control and hospital districts, while others were reduced to keep the overall rate the same.
However, state Sen. Paul Bettencourt had pushed for a rollback of the property tax, similar to what Montgomery County and City of Houston did, adding “there’s been a 36 percent increase in the taxable value of all homes in Harris County in just three years.”
Bettencourt says Harris County leaders should get their priorities straight, instead of placing the burden of the Astrodome and other projects on the backs of taxpayers.
“If you’re going to do a project which is effectively historical preservation, that’s great, but you can’t do it with property tax monies,” he says. “Taxpayers are already pressed, their bills have been going up two-and-a-half to three times faster than their income year-after-year.”
That’s why he’s calling for relief at the state level.
“The state needs to give top-down guidelines so when values skyrocket, you’ve got to lower tax rates,” says Bettencourt. “Otherwise tax bills go through the roof for all residences and all commercial properties.”