Who Sets My Property Tax?

William Ryan Jul 31, 2021
2 min read
Who Sets My Property Tax?

Tax Bills are Made up from Many Taxing Jurisdictions

Should I Blame the Central Appraisal District? 

When Texas property tax bills come out in October, your first response may be that they are too high. Property owners want to blame the Central Appraisal District (CAD), the entity that sets their property values. In this case, the CAD is innocent of the blame. While the CAD does set property values, they are not part of setting the tax rates, nor do they determine the ultimate tax bill. In fact, it is usually the Tax Assessor/Collector who issues the property tax bill. 

Who Determines the Property Tax Rates? 

Local jurisdictions such as independent school districts, colleges, hospitals, cities, and the county all need tax revenue to operate. Each year they submit their budgets for review and approval. Based on their budget, and the values of properties in their taxable areas, tax rates are determined so they can collect the amounts needed for their budgets. While the actual process can be more complicated, this can be illustrated quite simply using the following formula:

 If a jurisdiction needs $1,000,000 and your taxable value is $250,000,000, then your tax rate would be $1,000,000 ÷ $250,000,000 = 0.4%. 

Can I Do Anything About the Tax Rates? 

Truth-in-Taxation requires that notices are published regarding public hearings about proposed budgets and tax rates. It is at these meetings that taxpayers can voice their concerns and seek that the proposed budget be denied. In cases where the tax rate increase is excessive, the increase will be placed on the ballot for voters to approve or deny. By exercising your right to vote, you can have an impact on whether certain tax rate increases are approved or denied.

I’ve Done Everything Right but the Taxes Still Went Up! 

Sometimes you do all that you can to be heard, but the result is that tax rates–and your value!–still increases. This will cause your property tax bill to increase. Once valuations and tax rates are set, the tax bill needs to be paid. Each year you are given an opportunity to protest the noticed value of your property. If you are not reviewing your valuation and protesting when appropriate, you are missing at least one way of keeping your property tax bill lower. 

See How Wayfinder Can Help

Rig count vs Rent
Property valuation is an ever-changing landscape based on a variety of different factors.  Markets are local and can be affected in different ways by the same stimulus.  For example, West Texas is heavily dependent on oil prices and production, while Dallas appears hardly affected.    It is critical to know, understand, and track the factors that... Read more »
Read More
Wayfinder Attribute: Effective
At Wayfinder, the attribute “Effective” embodies a directional and purposeful approach. It blends efficiency with dedication to excellence. Effectiveness involves completing tasks in the most efficient way possible without sacrificing quality. This attribute fosters a culture of inquiry, encouraging team members to ask questions that enhance understanding, drive innovation and achieve outstanding results. By doing... Read more »
Read More
The Game Changer
What Sets Exceptional Property Tax Consultants Apart Having the right consultant by your side can be a game-changer, the difference between overpaying and securing fair assessments. You deserve a tax consultant that will truly care for your properties as much as you do. Here are four indispensable qualities you can distinguish when choosing a property... Read more »
Read More
Arrow Icon