Thursday, September 4, 2008

I Knew It Was Too Good To Be True

Despite Decline in Actual Market Values, Austin Suburb Appraisals Increase and Eat Up Property Tax Rate Cut

In a recent post, I lauded the Austin suburb of Leander for reducing their property tax rates. Yet, we learn today from the Hill Country News that local tax bills are actually going up because the appraisals on property are increasing.

In a thriving community where homes, businesses and schools are sprouting
like Texas bluebonnets in the spring, appraisal values continue to soar.
I knew there had to be a catch. Since property taxes equal appraised valuation times tax rate (for each taxing jurisdiction to which a property owner belongs), there are two variables that can be tinkered with to get to the final tax owed. With the tax man, if the left hand doesn't get you, then the right one will.

But what makes this increase a harder to swallow is that market values for the area are actually decreasing.


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