MAY 24, 2022 — Editor’s note: This op-ed by Jon Taylor, professor of political science and chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography, originally appeared in the San Antonio Express-News.
Texas homeowners recently received a notice from their appraisal district that likely informed them that the appraised value of their property has risen. While those looking to sell their homes might be pleased to see it go up in value, those who aren’t selling their homes or are looking to buy a home in a white-hot housing market might be worried that increased property assessments will lead to a big jump in property taxes and mortgage payments. It’s a legitimate concern, given that property tax collections in Texas have risen by more than 20 percent since 2017.
For those nervous rising property taxes may eventually price them out of their homes, Texas provides property owners with a mechanism to protest the appraised value. May 16 was the deadline to appeal property appraisals.
Just because you received a higher appraisal this year doesn’t mean that it’s certain your property taxes will increase. Why? Because your assessed value is currently an estimation based on the appraisal district’s educated guess of the value of your home. It’s not set in stone, which is why you have the right to challenge your estimated appraised valuation.
Further, because Texas law limits how much of the newly assessed value of your property can be taxed, any property tax increase will depend in large part on what various local governments do later this summer when they finalize their budgets and set the tax rates for the revenue they need to operate. As a result, your property taxes may not go up.
Some local governments may have to cut their property tax rates to comply with laws passed in 2019 that grant property owners some measure of relief from rising property taxes by capping the amount that they can annually increase their property tax revenue. Unfortunately, these laws have only managed to slow the pace of increases.
Simply stated, the money to pay for essential public services has to come from somewhere. Since Texas has no state income tax or state property tax, local governments are heavily dependent on property taxes to fund public services. Like it or not, high property taxes are the trade-off that we make for not having a personal income tax.
As a result, Texas’ combined state and local sales taxes are well above the national average and property taxes are some of the highest in the U.S., which disproportionately hits middle-class and lower-income Texans.
With the Texas Legislature looking at about $12 billion in surplus when it meets next January, there will be tremendous pressure to reduce local government’s dependence on property taxes — particularly by school districts.
While there is a relatively broad consensus that something needs to be done about property taxes, I suggest caution and some level of fiscal restraint. Texas has other pressing, often deferred, budget priorities, from education to infrastructure to health care to law enforcement, that need to be addressed.
Community input is central to developing a well-conceived roadmap for the next 50 years of the ITC. To date, the visioning process has included opportunities for public input and ideation through two rounds of Community Conversations that sought input from a wide variety of ITC stakeholders.Virtual Event
Please join us Thursday, July 7th, 2022 for a discussion with Colonel (ret) Michael Davis, MD, FACS, FRCS (Hon), former Director of the U.S. Combat Casualty Care Research Program. Dr. Davis will discuss how to best identify strengths at UTSA that can be effectively leveraged for funding proposals to the Department of Defense.Business Building (BB `2.06.04,) Main Campus
Educators will develop strategies that can be implemented to stimulate, guide, and build capacity of diverse student populations.UTSA Downtown Campus
Participants will be introduced to applications included in Adobe Creative Cloud, a tool that is free for all UTSA faculty, staff, and students. Attendees will be able to complete short projects that will give them the opportunity to produce artifacts that they can use to improve digital literacy in their coursesVirtual Event
The Innovation Academy is an 8-hour online hybrid course designed to introduce faculty to a variety of educational ideas, best practices and resources for becoming more comfortable in teaching in different modalities. This academy will run July 18 – August 21. Upon completion of all activities, faculty will receive a one-time incentive of $1,000Virtual Event
Learn how to design surveys that are scientifically valid and are inclusive of diverse populations. Anchored in culturally and linguistically competent practices, this interactive workshop will explore and apply concepts related to the lifecycle of survey development from design to implementation.Virtual Event
The virtual conference will bring together information professionals and academics to discuss current research, ideas, insights, and best practices that advance STEM research and education.Virtual Event
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.