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Chapter 5
Focus on County Taxes

Total property values in Texas counties increased by 11.9 percent, from $1.5 trillion to $1.7 trillion (Exhibit 22).

Exhibit 22
County Appraised Values and Tax Levy Statewide, 2006-07


Property Categories
Type of Category 2006 Appraised Value Percent of Value 2007 Appraised Value Percent of Value Percent Increase from 2006
A. Single-family Residential $755,641,437,387 49.0% $844,734,501,507 49.0% 11.8%
B. Multifamily Residential $67,830,188,759 4.4% $76,371,348,493 4.4% 12.6%
C. Vacant Lots $33,889,973,273 2.2% $37,909,327,321 2.2% 11.9%
D. Rural Real $65,031,318,057 4.2% $71,769,439,568 4.2% 10.4%
F1. Commercial Real $215,487,115,483 14.0% $251,365,447,742 14.6% 16.6%
F2. Industrial Real $76,292,207,436 5.0% $86,480,270,147 5.0% 13.4%
G. Oil, Gas and Minerals $93,174,563,278 6.0% $95,643,185,228 5.5% 2.6%
H. Vehicles $198,937,911 0.0% $166,768,888 0.0% (16.2%)
J. Utilities $41,375,752,653 2.7% $43,451,217,326 2.5% 5.0%
L1. Commercial Personal $103,187,870,106 6.7% $112,492,813,446 6.5% 9.0%
L2. Industrial Personal $71,625,665,422 4.6% $84,814,091,251 4.9% 18.4%
M. Other Personal $5,654,235,148 0.4% $5,623,057,934 0.3% (0.6%)
N. Intangible Personal $3,998,786 0.0% $0 0.0% (100%)
O. Real Property, Inventory $7,427,628,390 0.5% $9,365,464,322 0.5% 26.1%
S. Special Property $4,362,492,308 0.3% $4,615,344,967 0.3% 5.8%
Total Values $1,541,183,384,397 100% $1,724,802,278,140 100% 11.9%

Deductions
Type of Category 2006 Value Percent of Value 2007 Value Percent of Value Percent Increase from 2006
Deductions - Farm to Market $30,837,783,489 2.0% $35,552,836,895 2.1% 15.3%
Deductions - General Fund $161,635,348,536 10.4% $181,455,117,070 10.5% 12.3%
Total Deductions $192,473,132,025 12.4% $217,007,953,965 12.6% 12.7%

County Levy
Type of Category 2006 Value Percent of Value 2007 Value Percent of Value Percent Increase from 2006
General Fund Levy $ 5,104,367,820 95.6% $5,532,871,078 94.8% 8.4%
Farm to Market & Flood Control Levy $158,553,058 3.0% $206,577,079 3.5% 30.3%
Road and Bridge Levy $76,692,664 1.4% $97,541,792 1.7% 27.2%
Total County Levy $5,339,613,542 100% $5,836,989,949 100% 9.3%

Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Single-family residences continue to be the primary source of county property values, accounting for 49 percent of all county value in 2007, the same as in 2006. While maintaining the same percent of total value, single-family residences increased in value 11.8 percent. Real property inventory saw the highest percent increase in value, from $7.4 billion in 2006 to $9.4 billion in 2007, or 26.1 percent.

The percent of deductions represents the percent of total appraised value. The overall tax levy also increased by 9.3 percent, from $5.3 billion to $5.8 billion.

County Deductions

State law requires counties to grant a $3,000 homestead exemption for the farm-to-market roads and flood control tax. In 2007, this exemption totaled $35.5 billion.

The amount of exemption may be greater for homeowners who are aged 65 or older or disabled. One hundred ninety three counties granted this local option exemption, which accounted for a loss of $51.8 billion in value. For 2007, 112 counties granted local-option percentage homestead exemptions ranging from 1 percent to 20 percent. This accounted for a loss of $68.1 billion in value.

County Tax Rates

Each county may levy as many as three individual tax rates for funds dedicated to specific purposes as provided by the Texas Constitution. These three funds include farm-to-market roads and flood control, a general fund and a special road and bridge fund.

All 254 Texas counties impose a tax for the general fund. In 2007, that levy totaled $5.8 billion. For the 2007 tax year, 121 counties reported levying the farm-to-market roads and flood control taxes, raising $206.6 million. Sixty-five counties levied the special road and bridge tax, raising $97.5 million.

The largest county in terms of its tax levy is the Harris County, with 2007 revenue of $1 billion (Exhibit 23).

Exhibit 23

Top Ten Counties in Tax Levy, 2007
County Taxable Value
for County Tax Purposes
Total County Tax Rate Reported County Tax
Harris County $302,063,318,183 $0.392390 $1,004,426,951
Dallas County $190,712,640,361 $0.228100 $369,687,063
Travis County $101,578,649,219 $0.421600 $361,662,483
Tarrant County $123,640,860,952 $0.266500 $306,591,822
Bexar County $94,786,884,193 $0.326866 $286,109,762
Collin County $71,299,517,936 $0.245000 $167,637,953
Fort Bend County $39,997,135,879 $0.498740 $166,138,323
Hidalgo County $26,062,180,675 $0.590000 $145,869,803
Williamson County $30,080,778,085 $0.489100 $143,642,020
Montgomery County $28,820,419,850 $0.488800 $130,759,974

Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

While these 10 counties represent 3.9 percent of all counties, they collect 52.8 percent of all property taxes for counties in Texas. Jim Hogg County has the highest property tax rate in Texas at $1.07343 per $100 of valuation. Neighboring Duval County follows close behind with a rate of $1.0242. They are the only two counties with a tax rate of more than $1 per $100 of valuation. Sutton County has the lowest tax rate at $0.203092.

Full details of county property values are available on the Comptroller’s Web site at www.window.state.tx.us/countyvalues/proptax/annrpt07 (Excel, 97KB).

Permanent University Fund Lands

The Permanent University Fund (PUF) provides money for the maintenance and support of the University of Texas, Texas A&M University and most of their branch campuses. The fund owns more than 2 million acres in 22 Texas counties. Under the provisions of Texas Constitution Article VII, Section 16(a), the state pays county taxes on this land.

In 2007, the taxable value of PUF land and minerals was $458.9 million. The state paid $1.9 million in county taxes on that land (Exhibit 24).

Exhibit 24

Permanent University Fund 2007 Values and Taxes Paid
County Acres Surface Taxable Value Royalty Taxable Value Total Taxable Value TotalTax Paid
Andrews 293,029.500 $1,952,580 $151,635,630 $153,588,210 $583,976.95
Cooke 166.500 $11,800 $63,330 $75,130 $358.23
Crane 65,244.800 $350,060 $96,333,890 $96,683,950 $379,939.01
Crockett 367,198.020 $5,879,160 $25,103,100 $30,982,260 $144,021.73
Culberson 46,006.658 $310,820 $0 $310,820 $2,371.51
Dawson 163.500 $1,890 $0 $1,890 $11.68
Ector 6,142.280 $60,650 $14,309,080 $14,369,730 $58,068.13
El Paso 11,322.131 $860,220 $0 $860,220 $3,099.07
Gaines 2,805.500 $52,620 $0 $52,620 $176.98
Hudspeth 493,405.000 $2,220,308 $0 $2,220,308 $14,222.05
Irion 25,353.800 $613,320 $494,460 $1,107,780 $4,930.65
Lamar 513.300 $44,330 $0 $44,330 $196.34
Loving 25,881.600 $75,140 $21,944,450 $22,019,590 $78,279.57
Martin 16,687.200 $213,130 $3,728,250 $3,941,380 $15,180.03
Pecos 188,316.108 $1,608,430 $5,855,030 $7,463,460 $44,295.67
Reagan 218,105.850 $4,806,759 $32,469,900 $37,276,659 $138,012.95
Schleicher 61,835.000 $2,051,430 $3,036,500 $5,087,930 $33,451.12
Shackelford 0.000 $0 $66,300 $66,300 $303.24
Terrell 61,884.000 $696,180 $6,414,010 $7,110,190 $19,872.48
Upton 86,429.500 $299,030 $13,827,320 $14,126,350 $36,248.11
Ward 80,639.356 $2,361,550 $44,737,320 $47,098,870 $290,339.58
Winkler 49,036.700 $141,120 $14,291,190 $14,432,310 $97,384.00
Totals 2,100,166.303 $24,610,527 $434,309,760 $458,920,287 $1,944,739.08

Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

The state avails itself of early payment discounts offered by Andrews, Culberson, Dawson, Gaines, Martin, Reagan and Schleicher counties.

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