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Chapter 6
Focus on County Taxes

Total property values in Texas counties increased by 10.4 percent, from $1.7 trillion to $1.9 trillion (Exhibit 32).

Exhibit 32
County Property Tax Values, 2007-08


Residential

Property Category 2007
County Tax Values
Percent
of Total
2008
County Tax Values
Percent
of Total
Percent Change 2007-2008
Single-family Residential $844,734,501,507 49.0% $915,934,320,603 48.1% 8.4%
Mobile Homes $5,623,057,934 0.3% $5,750,061,852 0.3% 2.3%
Total Residential $850,357,559,441 49.3% $921,684,382,455 48.8% 8.4%

Acreage/Lots

Property Category 2007
County Tax Values
Percent
of Total
2008
County Tax Values
Percent
of Total
Percent Change 2007-2008
Vacant Lots $37,909,327,321 2.2% $42,937,107,875 2.3% 13.3%
Rural Land and Improvements $71,769,439,568 4.2% $75,852,727,248 4.0% 5.7%
Total Acreage Lots $109,678,766,889 6.4% $118,789,835,123 6.2% 8.3%

Business Properties

Property Category 2007
County Tax Values
Percent
of Total
2008
County Tax Values
Percent
of Total
Percent Change 2007-2008
Commercial Real Estate $251,365,447,742 14.6% $282,248,069,892 14.8% 12.3%
Commercial Personal $112,492,813,446 6.5% $122,891,235,323 6.5% 9.2%
Multi-family Residential $76,371,348,493 4.4% $84,808,581,887 4.5% 11.1%
Industrial Real Estate $86,480,270,147 5.0% $92,648,947,726 4.9% 7.1%
Industrial Personal $84,814,091,251 4.9% $96,768,399,082 5.1% 14.3%
Oil and Gas $95,643,185,228 5.5% $121,360,952,729 6.4% 27.0%
Utilities $43,451,217,326 2.5% $45,832,917,428 2.4% 5.6%
Vehicles $166,768,888 0.0% $120,055,812 0.0% -28.0%
Special Inventory $4,615,344,967 0.3% $4,694,598,055 0.2% 1.7%
Residential Inventory $9,365,464,322 0.5% $9,955,806,068 0.5% 6.3%
Intangible Personal $0 0.0% $132,117,464 0.0% -
Total Business Properties $764,765,951,810 44.3% $861,461,681,466 45.4% 13.0%
Total All Properties $1,724,802,278,140 100% $1,905,029,420,670 100% 10.4%

Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

As with school districts, business properties saw the biggest increase in value, 13 percent, from 2007 to 2008. Business properties also saw a slight increase as a percentage of total value, as residential properties gradually decreased. Single-family residences, however, continue to be the primary source of county property values, accounting for 48.4 percent of all county value in 2008, down 1 percent from 2007. While decreasing by a percentage point of total value in 2008 from 2007, single-family residences increased in value 8.4 percent during the same period. Oil, gas and minerals saw the highest percent increase in value, from $95.6 billion in 2007 to $121 billion in 2008, or 27 percent.

County Tax Levy

While county appraised values saw a 10.1 percent increase in 2008 over 2007, the overall rate of increase of total taxes was 8.7 percent (Exhibit 33).

Exhibit 33
County Tax Levy Statewide, 2007-08


Property Categories

Type of Category 2007
Appraised Value
Percent
of Value
2008
Appraised Value
Percent
of Value
Percent Increase from 2007
A. Single-family Residential $844,734,501,507 49.0% $915,934,320,603 48.2% 8.4%
B. Multi-family Residential $76,371,348,493 4.4% $84,808,581,887 4.5% 11.1%
C. Vacant Lots $37,909,327,321 2.2% $42,926,683,011 2.3% 13.2%
D. Rural Real $65,031,318,057 4.2% $75,883,708,382 4.0% 16.7%
F1. Commercial Real $251,365,447,742 14.6% $282,248,069,892 14.8% 12.3%
F2. Industrial Real $86,480,270,147 5.0% $92,648,947,726 4.9% 7.1%
G. Oil, Gas and Minerals $95,643,185,228 5.5% $121,360,952,729 6.4% 26.9%
H. Vehicles $166,768,888 0.0% $120,055,812 0.0% (28.0%)
J. Utilities $43,451,217,326 2.5% $45,832,917,428 2.4% 5.5%
L1. Commercial Personal $112,492,813,446 6.5% $122,891,235,323 6.5% 9.2%
L2. Industrial Personal $84,814,091,251 4.9% $96,768,399,082 5.1% 14.1%
M. Other Personal $5,623,057,934 0.3% $5,750,061,852 0.3% 2.3%
N. Intangible Personal $0 0.0% $132,117,464 0.0% 0.0%
O. Real Property, Inventory $9,365,464,322 0.5% $9,955,806,068 0.5% 6.3%
S. Special Property $4,615,344,967 0.3% $4,694,598,055 0.3% 1.7%
Total Values $1,724,802,278,140 100% $1,901,956,455,314 100% 10.3%

Deductions

Type of Category 2007 Value Percent
of Value
2008 Value Percent
of Value
Percent Increase from 2007
Deductions -
Farm-to-Market
$35,552,836,895 2.1% $38,446,622,376 2.0% 8.1%
Deductions - General Fund $181,455,117,070 10.5% $198,304,947,919 10.4% 9.3%
Total Deductions $217,007,953,965 12.6% $236,751,570,295 12.4% 9.1%

County Levy

Type of Category 2007 Value Percent
of Value
2008 Value Percent
of Value
Percent Increase from 2007
General Fund Levy $5,532,871,078 94.8% $6,044,579,961 95.3% 9.3%
Farm-to-Market & Flood Control Levy $206,577,079 3.5% $216,888,863 3.4% 5%
Road and Bridge Levy $97,541,792 1.7% $81,236,079 1.3% (16.7%)
Total County Levy $5,836,989,949 100% $6,342,704,903 100% 8.7%

Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

The percent of deductions represents the percent of total appraised value. Deductions increased to $236.8 billion, or 9.1 percent, in 2008 over 2007. State law requires counties to grant a $3,000 homestead exemption for the farm-to-market roads and flood control tax. In 2008, this exemption totaled $38.4 billion. The amount of exemption may be greater for homeowners who are aged 65 or older or disabled. One hundred ninety-seven counties granted this local option exemption, which accounted for a value loss of $61.8 billion. For 2008, 113 counties granted local-option percentage homestead exemptions ranging from 1 percent to 20 percent. This accounted for a loss of $76 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 2008, that levy totaled $6 billion. For the 2008 tax year, 120 counties reported levying the farm-to-market roads and flood control taxes, raising $216.9 million. Sixty-eight counties levied the special road and bridge tax, raising $81.2 million.

The largest county in terms of its tax levy is Harris County, with 2008 revenue of $1 billion (Exhibit 34).

Exhibit 34
Top Ten Counties in Tax Levy, 2008

County Taxable Value for County Tax Purposes Total County Tax Rate Reported County Tax
Harris County $281,358,928,249 $0.390895 $1,095,133,426
Travis County $95,692,489,983 $0.412200 $394,444,444
Dallas County $170,117,650,763 $0.228100 $388,038,362
Tarrant County $124,760,835,086 $0.264000 $329,368,255
Bexar County $97,312,377,954 $0.326866 $319,364,761
Fort Bend County $38,147,525,694 $0.499750 $190,736,711
Collin County $71,722,228,873 $0.242500 $173,926,405
Hidalgo County $27,112,169,503 $0.590000 $159,961,800
Williamson County $33,441,015,058 $0.468324 $156,664,266
Montgomery County $30,334,826,908 $0.483800 $146,759,893

Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

While these 10 counties represent only 3.9 percent of all counties, they collect 52.9 percent of all property taxes for counties in Texas. Jim Hogg County has the highest property tax rate in Texas at $1.09 per $100 of valuation and is the only county with a tax rate of more than $1 per $100 of valuation. Sutton County has the lowest tax rate at $0.1797.

Full details of county property values are available on the Comptroller's Web site at www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/proptax/annual08/2008_county_values.xls.

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 21 Texas counties. Under the provisions of Texas Constitution Article VII, Section 16(a), the state pays county taxes on this land.

In 2008, the taxable value of PUF land and minerals was $635.6 million. The state paid $2.4 million in county taxes on that land (Exhibit 35).

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

Exhibit 35
Permanent University Fund 2008 Values and Taxes Paid

County Acres Surface
Taxable Value
Royalty
Taxable Value
Total
Taxable Value
Total
Tax Paid
Andrews 293,029.5 $2,114,730 $186,049,120 $188,163,850 $647,941.77
Cooke 166.5 11,800 100,470 112,270 505.22
Crane 65,244.8 350,060 121,185,030 121,535,090 379,894.17
Crockett 367,198.0 5,879,160 30,189,590 36,068,750 152,032.62
Culberson 46,006.7 320,220 0 320,220 2,204.71
Dawson 163.5 2,130 0 2,130 11.37
Ector 6,142.3 60,650 19,789,826 19,850,476 71,064.71
El Paso 11,322.1 856,728 0 856,728 2,933.77
Gaines 2,805.5 54,360 0 54,360 182.84
Hudspeth 493,405.0 2,220,308 0 2,220,308 14,222.05
Irion 25,353.8 595,880 648,930 1,244,810 4,790.16
Lamar 513.3 44,330 0 44,330 191.90
Loving 25,881.6 78,820 64,753,100 64,831,920 205,517.17
Martin 16,687.2 700 7,547,960 7,548,660 25,854.89
Pecos 188,316.1 1,608,460 7,628,450 9,236,910 51,726.84
Reagan 218,105.9 5,682,629 46,022,870 51,705,499 172,694.90
Schleicher 61,835.0 2,051,510 4,030,970 6,082,480 38,350.16
Terrell 61,884.0 730,212 8,130,550 8,860,762 28,735.82
Upton 86,429.5 345,670 25,685,089 26,030,759 60,417.65
Ward 80,639.4 2,361,550 53,829,140 56,190,690 376,477.64
Winkler 49,036.7 158,770 34,489,960 34,648,730 199,576.74
Totals 2,100,166.3 $25,528,677 $610,081,055 $635,609,732 $2,435,327.10
Totals 2,100,166.303 $24,610,527 $434,309,760 $458,920,287 $1,944,739.08

Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

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