Texas Property Tax Rates

Tax-Rates.org has put together a report (Property Tax Rates By State 2013“) ranking the states by their property tax rate. Many Texans will be surprised to see how high we are in  the rankings.

Map of tax rates by state

Our ranking out of the fifty states varies depends whether you calculate our ranking based on median property tax (14th),  property tax as percentage of income (12th), or property tax as  percentage of property value (3rd). According to their analysis of Texas property taxes, the median property tax in Texas is 1.81% of a property’s estimated value each year. The median value of a home in the state is $125,800 and the media yearly property tax is $2,275.

Regardless, we generally think about Texas as a low tax state. What’s up?

One of the answers is that keeping up the image of a low tax state has encouraged state politicians to push as much of the tax burden to the local level. If the sales tax goes up, voters blame the governor or legislature. If property tax rates go up, voters blame local officials–even as those local officials operate under funding schemes dictated by the state.

The Texas Constitution bans an official state-wide property tax. However, it permits local governments to tax property to pay for public schools, services provided by the county, and other things often paid for by state taxes in other states. It’s kind of a tax shell game since the state government has final say over the tax policies at both the state and local level.

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One Response

  1. Thanks for this article about comparison of property taxes levels state by state. I knew that this tax in TX is the highest one nationally, but could not imagine how high it is. I’m personally surprised that California has much lower rate than Texas.

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