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Chapter 5
Focus on City Taxes

In 2005, 1,043 cities reported taxable value of $856.6 billion, an increase of $50.7 billion, or 6.3 percent, from 2004. In 2005, cities levied $4.9 billion in taxes compared to $4.6 billion in 2004. Cities lost some $43.0 million in tax revenue due to tax abatement agreements, which is $3 million more than in 2004.

As indicated in Figure C, residential homeowners contributed the largest portion of value to cities, with 53.8 percent of market value. The commercial and industrial sector had the next largest load, with 33.1 percent of market value, 20.2 percent in real property and 12.9 percent in personal property. Apartment complexes accounted for 5.9 percent of market values, while utilities, vacant lots and rural property each accounted for 2.0 percent. Table 26 provides detailed dollar amounts for the market value of the various city property categories.

Table 26: Dollar Value of City Properties by Category

Category Amount
A. Single-family Residences $515,804,681,168
B. Multi-family Residences $56,801,722,456
C. Vacant Lots $19,613,370,606
D. Rural Real $19,168,197,987
F. Commercial/Industrial $193,206,798,533
G. Oil, Gas, Minerals $1,928,344,597
H. Tangible, non-business vehicles $53,792,172
J. Utilities $18,945,929,155
L. Commercial/Industrial Personal $123,260,191,206
M. Mobile Homes and Other Personal $1,945,926,271
N. Intangible Personal and Uncertified $7,974,142
O. Residential Inventory $4,295,264,709
S. Special Inventory $3,601,592,188

Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, 2005 City Self-Reports.

Taxable value reflects deductions for property value not taxable because of applicable homestead exemptions, productivity appraisal of qualified agricultural and timberland, tax abatements, reinvestment zones and other exemptions. In 2005, 195 cities granted local option percentage homestead exemptions ranging from 1 to 20 percent, the maximum allowed by law. Table 27 shows all deductions to property value granted by cities.

Table 27: Number and Value Lost from Exemptions Granted by Cities

Type of Exemption Number of Cities Granting Exemption Number Exemptions Granted Amount Value Loss to Exemptions
Local Optional Over 65 Homestead Exemption (Minimum $3,000) 691 2,104,589 $25,788,411,256
Local Option Percentage Homestead Exemption (Minimum $5,000) 195 1,577,155 $35,288,211,109
Disabled or Deceased Veterans Exemptions 1,020 118,202 $1,089,455,914
10 Percent Cap on Residences Homesteads 987 $7,653,055,040
Ag and Timber Use 935 1,323,7612 $11,014,135,313
Freeport Exemptions 144 4,360 $13,462,124,139
Pollution Control 185 1,118 $952,772,852
Water Conservation Initiatives 0 0 $0
Solar and Wind Powered Exemptions 268 $114,565,701
Historical Exemptions 129 $617,349,894
Property Redevelopment Tax Abatement 159 2,054 $6,982,425,746
Total Value Loss to Exemptions $102,962,506,964

Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, 2005 City Self Reports.

The Texas Constitution, Article XI, Sections 4 and 5, limits the rate that a city can levy a property tax. The Constitution caps tax rate for cities of 5,000 or less at $1.50 per $100 of valuation. Larger cities, with a population of 5,000 or more, may levy up to $2.50 per $100 of valuation. A home rule city may limit this rate to less than $2.50 per $100 of value in its charter. Type B general law cities may only levy a property tax of up to 25 cents per $100 assessed valuation.

The average property tax rate in Texas cities in 2005 was $0.4863, up slightly from 2004’s $0.4855. The average tax for maintenance and operations was $0.3963 and for debt, it was $0.0902. Seventeen Texas cities had tax rates of more than $1.00 per $100 of valuation. The city of Camp Wood in Real County had the highest rate at $1.50, all assessed to retire debt. Three other cities also only assessed taxes for retiring debt. The Village of Bee Cave in Travis County assessed the lowest tax rate at $0.02 per $100 of value. Better than half, 570, of cities had tax rates of less than $0.50 per $100 of value.

This report of property taxes includes information only on 1,043 cities that levied a property tax in 2005. Table 28 groups the cities according to the appraisal districts in which they are located and lists the appraisal districts in alphabetical order. To assist the reader in locating a particular city, Table 29 provides an alphabetical list of cities. The report lists a few cities more than once because it apportions property value among multiple appraisal districts.

PDF fileTable 28: City Self Report Data Exemptions, Taxable Value, Tax Rate and Levy (PDF, 984 KB)
PDF fileTable 29: City Index (PDF, 852 KB)

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