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Foreword

The Tax Code directs the Comptroller's office to publish an annual report on the operations of appraisal districts. This report provides the governor, the lieutenant governor and each member of the Legislature a single point of reference for appraisal district operations and practices, as well as for appraised values, taxable values and tax levies and rates of Texas local governments.[1] The Tax Code, as originally adopted in 1979, also required that the Comptroller's office report on assessment value and assessment ratios. The Legislature subsequently prohibited assessing property for taxation on the basis of a percentage of its appraised value and directed that all property be assessed on the basis of 100 percent of its appraised value.[2]

The Tax Code authorizes the Comptroller's office to require each appraisal district engaged in appraising property for taxation to submit an annual report on the administration and operation of the appraisal district.[3] The Comptroller's office gathers data on property values and tax rates through Electronic Appraisal Roll Submissions it requires from appraisal districts. This information, along with data from the Comptroller's Appraisal District Operations Survey, is used to prepare this annual report.

The Comptroller's office provides the raw data for this report in downloadable electronic spreadsheets for use by interested parties. These spreadsheets include appraised values by class of property, the total taxable value for most taxing units and the tax rate for each county, city, school district and special-purpose district in each appraisal district in the state. Additionally, they provide data on the operations of appraisal districts, such as budgets, chief appraiser salaries, board make-up, appraisal review board activities and other data relevant to the property tax process.

Appraisal districts, also referred to as county, central or consolidated appraisal districts (CADs), are political subdivisions of the state responsible for appraising property within county boundaries. Taxing entities use those appraised values to set their ad valorem tax rates and levy property taxes.[4]

The governing bodies of taxing units, such as school boards, commissioners' courts, city councils and special purpose district boards of directors, derive the tax rate by dividing the proposed tax levy by the taxable value of property, as provided by the CADs, and expressing it in dollars and cents per $100 of value. Taxable value is a property's appraised value minus all applicable exemptions, deductions and limitations.[5] The tax rate is the level of taxation imposed by a taxing unit on taxable property within its boundaries. The local government's tax assessor applies the tax rate to the taxable value in its jurisdiction to compute the amount of tax due on each property.

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