Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Glenn Hegar

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Chapter 5

Focus on City Taxes

In 2006, 1,044 Texas cities reported taxable value of $944.6 billion, an increase of $88 billion or 10.2 percent from 2005. In 2006, cities levied $5.3 billion in taxes, compared to $4.9 billion in 2005.

As indicated in Figure C, residential homeowners contributed the largest portion of value to cities in 2006, with 54.5 percent of market value. The commercial and industrial sector carried the next largest load, with 33.3 percent of value, including 20.7 percent in real property and 12.6 percent in personal property. Apartment complexes accounted for 6 percent of appraised values, while utilities and vacant lots each accounted for about 2 percent. Rural real properties accounted for 0.9 percent of value. Rural real properties include the market value of rural acreage that does not qualify for productivity appraisal; the productivity value of acreage that qualifies for agricultural and timberland appraisal; and the market value of farm and ranch improvements. Table 20 provides detailed dollar amounts for the appraised value of the various city property categories.

 Appraised Value of City Properties by Category

TABLE 20: Dollar Value of City Properties by Category

Category Amount
A. Single-family Residential $ 570,066,401,038
B. Multifamily Residential 62,939,634,171
C. Vacant Lots 22,173,087,380
D. Rural Real 9,122,762,910
F1. Commercial Real 196,279,922,551
F2. Industrial Real 19,941,224,566
G. Oil, Gas & Minerals 2,740,765,175
H. Vehicles 61,368,603
J. Utilities $ 19,811,891,070
L1. Commercial Personal 90,645,964,565
L2. Industrial Personal 40,859,761,238
M. Other Personal 1,936,228,785
N. Intangible Personal 38,360
O. Real Property, Inventory 5,243,342,327
S. Special Property 3,825,688,908
Total Appraised Value $1,045,648,081,647

Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Property Tax Division.

Taxable value reflects deductions for property value not taxable because of applicable homestead exemptions, tax abatements, reinvestment zones and other exemptions. In 2006, 200 cities granted local-option percentage homestead exemptions ranging from 1 to 20 percent, the maximum allowed by law. Table 21 shows all deductions to property value granted by cities.

TABLE 21: Number and Value Lost to Exemptions Granted by Cities

Type of Exemption Number of
Cities Granting
Number of
Lost to
Local Optional Over-65 Homestead Exemption (Minimum $3,000) 682 886,177 $ 28,585,073,550
Local Option Percentage Homestead Exemption (Minimum $5,000) 197 1,609,101 37,387,098,327
Disabled or Deceased Veterans Exemptions 1,021 128,177 1,154,505,467
10 Percent Cap on Residence Homesteads 999 Not reported 10,487,975,017
Freeport Exemptions 150 4,591 14,282,152,860
Pollution Control 205 1,225 1,249,361,831
Water Conservation Initiatives 0 0 0
Solar and Wind Powered Exemptions 238 Not reported 114,790,735
Historical Exemptions 78 Not reported 563,234,344
Property Redevelopment Tax Abatement 167 1,809 $ 6,767,916,521

Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Property Tax Division.

The total value lost to exemptions granted by cities was $100,592,108,652 in 2006.

The Texas Constitution, Article XI, Sections 4 and 5, limits the rate at which a city can levy a property tax. The Constitution caps the tax rate for cities of 5,000 or less at $1.50 per $100 of valuation. Larger cities, with populations 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 2006 was $0.4865, up slightly from 2005's $0.4863. The average tax for maintenance and operations was $0.3964 and for debt it was $0.0901. Eighteen 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. Four 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. More than half of the cities (550) had tax rates of less than $0.50 per $100 of value.

This report of property taxes includes information on 1,044 cities that levied a property tax in 2006. Table 22 groups the cities according to the appraisal districts in which they are located and lists the appraisal districts in alphabetical order. Some cities appear more than once because more than one appraisal district may appraise property for them. To assist the reader in locating a particular city, Table 23 provides an alphabetical list of cities.

PDF file TABLE 22: 2006 Cities Taxable Value, Tax Rate and Levy (PDF, 3.91 MB)

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PDF file TABLE 23: City Index (PDF, 1.04 MB)

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