Preliminary Value Findings Total Almost $878 Billion
(Note: The following article discusses the increase in school district values from the Comptroller’s final 1999 property value study to the preliminary 2000 study, based on information reported by Texas school districts. The Comptroller’s study determines the taxable wealth of each school district for state aid to local districts. These values may be different from local tax roll values.)
Texas school districts’ preliminary property values totaled almost $878 billion in 2000, an increase of about 11 percent or roughly $85 billion more than in 1999. Independent school district (ISD) property values are up for the eighth year in a row, based on numbers from the Comptroller’s property value study (PVS). School property values have continued to rise since the 1992 study findings.
State Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander certified the preliminary determination of school property values — based on the appraisal date of January 1, 2000 — to Education Commissioner Jim Nelson on January 31, 2001.
The Government Code requires the Texas Education Agency to use the Comptroller’s annual estimates of individual school district taxable wealth to determine state aid payments. Copies of the Comptroller’s findings may be obtained by ordering the agency’s 2000 Preliminary Report of School and Appraisal Districts’ Property Value Study. The Comptroller will automatically send a copy of the preliminary report to each county appraisal district, school district, county tax office and certain taxpayers. For questions about the preliminary PVS results, send an e-mail to the Property Tax Division at <firstname.lastname@example.org> or call 1-800-252-9121, ext. 5-9839. In Austin, call (512) 305-9999.
School districts, appraisal districts and some taxpayers (with significant property in the study) have until March 12 to appeal the study’s preliminary findings. Final taxable values, which are certified on or before July 1, 2001, may be less than those listed in the preliminary study because of appeals and corrections filed with the Comptroller’s Property Tax Division (PTD).Local values
The Comptroller certified the school district’s local tax roll values in 702 school districts. (While there are 1,034 school districts, the certification is for 1,052 districts because some school districts’ values are divided among more than one appraisal district.) These districts reported local property values that fell within the Comptroller’s 5-percent margin of error. They accounted for almost $643 billion in taxable value, or about 73 percent of the total taxable value in Texas.
In the remaining 350 districts, where local tax roll values did not meet the agency’s criteria (5-percent margin of error), the Comptroller certified the determination of those districts’ values at almost $235 billion.
For tax year 2000, taxable values increased in about 86 percent — or 900 — of the school districts, with an average increase in value of almost 13 percent. In comparison, about 68 percent — or 707 — of all districts had an average increase in value of 8 percent in tax year 1999.
About 45 percent of the school districts — or 471 — had property values increase more than 10 percent from last year. Of these 471 districts, 136 districts saw property values increase more than 20 percent. Fifteen districts had values increase more than 50 percent. The largest percentage increase in value was 143 percent for Dew ISD in Freestone County. Dew ISD’s tax base grew from $67 million to $163 million, mainly from oil and gas properties. Other percentage increases exceeding 85 percent from 1999 to 2000 included Ezzell ISD in Lavaca County (98 percent) and Eden Consolidated ISD in Concho County (88 percent).
Values dropped in 152 districts by an average of about 6 percent from 1999 to 2000. In the preceding study, values declined by an average of 10 percent in 375 school districts.
Only 24 school districts saw property values decrease more than 10 percent from last year. Five of these 24 districts experienced more than a 20-percent loss in property value. The greatest decreases were in the two school districts with nuclear power plants. Glen Rose ISD in Somervell County suffered a 64-percent decline in property value — from $6.8 billion to $2.4 billion. Palacios ISD in Matagorda County saw its property values drop from $2.2 billion to $1.1 billion.Largest school districts
Of the state’s 50 largest school districts in taxable wealth, all saw increases in their taxable values. Houston ISD, the state’s largest district with taxable wealth of more than $60 billion, had property values increase almost 10 percent from 1999. Dallas ISD, the second largest district, totaled $52 billion in property value, about 7.5 percent more than last year’s tax base.
Goosecreek ISD, located in both Chambers and Harris Counties, experienced the greatest increase in property value of the 50 largest school districts, gaining 33 percent or about $2 billion more value than in 1999. Other increases exceeding 20 percent in the largest districts included Leander ISD in Williamson County (25 percent), San Antonio ISD in Bexar County (22 percent) and Round Rock ISD in Williamson County (22 percent).
The 10 largest school districts in taxable wealth account for about 29 percent of all the state’s property value. These 10 districts in order of value are Houston, Dallas, Austin, Plano, Cypress-Fairbanks, Richardson, Arlington, Fort Worth, Northside and North East ISDs. (The last two districts are both in Bexar County.)
Glen Rose ISD in Somervell County dropped out of the top 50 largest districts in taxable wealth. It was the 19th largest district in taxable wealth in 1999.
According to preliminary study results, school districts’ exemptions and abatements increased 14 percent from the final 1999 study to the 2000 preliminary study. The total 2000 amount of $121 billion was almost $15 billion more than in 1999.
Homestead exemptions accounted for about 84 percent of this $15 billion increase. Those exemptions include the state mandated $15,000 exemption for general homeowners, the state-mandated $10,000 exemption for disabled or elderly homeowners, the school tax ceiling (or freeze) for over-65 homeowners, and the capped value on homesteads.
Government Code Section 403.302 specifies the exemptions and productivity value loss for special appraisals that the Comptroller deducts from market value to determine the taxable value of property in school districts.
The preliminary 2000 study, before exemptions, revealed an increase of 14.5 percent in the value of single-family residences, following an increase of 9 percent in 1999. This category is the largest in appraised value, representing 45 percent of the total school district tax base. Multi-family residences values increased 12 percent in 2000, following more than a 12-percent increase in 1999.
Changes in business properties’ values varied, depending on the type. Commercial real property increased almost 13 percent, compared to an increase of 11 percent last year. Industrial real property increased about 11 percent; the category's 1999 values increased less than 1 percent. Industrial personal and commercial personal properties continue to increase in value. Industrial personal increased almost 10 percent (compared to 2 percent in 1999) and commercial personal rose about 1 percent (compared to 7 percent in 1999).
Utilities declined from 1999 to 2000, about 11 percent in value, after decreasing about one-half of one percent in 1999.
Oil, gas and minerals have seen both ups and downs in recent years. After increasing in value in 1997 by 23 percent but falling by almost 6 percent in 1998 and dropping more than 29 percent in 1999, oil, gas and minerals rose more than 14 percent in 2000.
Category N, intangible personal and uncertified property, included miscellaneous properties listed on the local tax rolls but not certified by local appraisal review boards at reporting time. With updated information during the appeals process, Comptroller staff will distribute the certified values among other property categories.Tables:
Statewide School District Taxable Values - Final 1999 v. Preliminary 2000 (in billions)
Statewide Median Appraisal Ratios - Final 1999 v. Preliminary 2000 (in billions)
Statewide Coefficients of Dispersion - Final 1999 v. Preliminary 2000 (in billions)