Understand importance of increases in local appraised property values

Pratt on TexasIt is notice of appraised property value time for the purpose of local property taxes. Announcements will be coming out to which citizens need to pay attention and, importantly, understand.

Take the Lubbock Central Appraisal District numbers as an example. In a press release, district officials stated: “With another good year in our local real estate market, the average market value of a single-family residence in Lubbock County is $147,275 in 2018 as compared to $137,419 in 2017.”

You need to be able to understand what percentage of increase in taxable appraised value exists.* That is how you know how much each local government entity would be raising taxes on you if they do the old trick of adopting “the same tax rate as the year before.”

resetting next year’s tax rate at the same rate as this year would be a whopping 7% tax increase across Lubbock County

Any tax rate number above the revenue neutral Effective Rate, which they do have to publish but rarely mention, is a tax increase. In the case of Lubbock County entities such as the county, school districts, hospital districts and cities, resetting next year’s tax rate at the same rate as this year would be a whopping seven percent tax increase if property values increased by appraisal seven percent in each of those taxing districts as they did county-wide.

Pay attention now, figure the numbers, and make sure local officials and members of the press know that we understand how this charade works.

*Do the math: Take the smaller number ($137,419) and divide the larger number ($147,275) into it. You’ll get a decimal number, in this case .9330775; drop the decimal and take the first two digits (93 in this case) and subtract that number from 100 which will give you a number that is the percentage of increase. In the Lubbock County case it is seven percent.

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