2001 Property Value StudyPreliminary Value Findings Exceed $979 Billion
- In this issue:
- Comptroller's Report
- $15 Billion in Local School Taxes
- 2001 School Tax Rates and Taxes
- Primarily Charitable Organization
(Note: The following article discusses the increase in school district values from the Comptroller’s final 2000 property value study to the amended preliminary 2001 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’ amended preliminary property values totaled more than $979 billion in 2001, an increase of 13 percent or roughly $115 billion more taxable value than in 2000. Independent school district (ISD) property values are up for the ninth 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, 2001 — to Education Commissioner Jim Nelson on January 31, 2002. The Property Tax Division (PTD) amended the preliminary findings for staff-initiated updates February 22.
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 2001 Preliminary Report of School and Appraisal Districts’ Property Value Study. The findings will be available on the Comptroller’s Web site at www.window.state.tx.us. 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 email@example.com 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) had until March 12 to appeal the study’s preliminary findings. Final taxable values, which are certified on or before July 1, 2002, may be less than those listed in the preliminary study because of appeals and corrections filed with the Comptroller’s Property Tax Division (PTD).
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 about $652 billion in taxable value, or about 67 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 $327 billion.
For tax year 2001, taxable values increased in about 94 percent — or 985 — of the school districts, with an average increase in value of about 17 percent. In comparison, about 83 percent — or 874 — of all districts had an average increase in value of almost 11 percent in tax year 2000.
About 59 percent of the school districts — or 620 — had property values increase more than 10 percent from last year. Of these 620 districts, 270 districts saw property values increase more than 20 percent. Twenty-nine districts had values increase more than 50 percent. The largest percentage increase in value was 163 percent for Marion ISD in Guadalupe County (Dew ISD in Freestone County had 143 percent in 2000). Marion ISD’s tax base grew from $164 million to $430 million, with the completion of a gas-powered electrical generation plant.
Other school districts with percentage increases exceeding 80 percent from 2000 to 2001 included: Crowell ISD (Foard County), 102 percent; Zapata ISD (Zapata County), 101 percent; San Isidro ISD (Starr County), 97 percent; Walnut Bend ISD (Cooke County), 94 percent; and Prairie Valley ISD (Montague County), 88 percent.
Values dropped in 67 districts by an average of about 6 percent from 2000 to 2001. In the preceding study, values declined by an average of 6 percent in 178 school districts.
Only 14 school districts saw property values decrease more than 10 percent from last year. Three of these 14 districts experienced more than a 20-percent loss in property value.
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 $70 billion, had property values increase about 16 percent from 2000. Dallas ISD, the second largest district, totaled $56 billion in property value, almost 9 percent more than last year’s tax base.
The largest percentage increase in taxable value was in Frisco ISD in Collin County at 31 percent. Frisco ISD’s tax base grew from $3.4 to $4.5 billion. (Goosecreek ISD, located in both Chambers and Harris Counties, experienced the greatest increase in property value of the 50 largest school districts in tax year 2000, gaining 33 percent.)
Other school districts with increases exceeding 20 percent in the 50 largest districts included Keller ISD (Tarrant County), 27 percent; Leander ISD (Williamson County), 26 percent; Eanes ISD (Travis County), 24 percent; United ISD (Webb County), 23 percent; and Round Rock ISD (Williamson County), 23 percent.
The 10 largest school districts in taxable wealth account for about 30 percent of all the state’s property value. These 10 districts in order of value are Houston, Dallas, Austin, Plano, Richardson, Cypress-Fairbanks, Arlington, North East, Northside and Fort Worth ISDs. (North East and Northside ISDs are both in Bexar County.)
According to preliminary study results, school districts’ exemptions and abatements increased more than 15 percent from the final 2000 study to the 2001 amended preliminary study. The total 2001 amount of $139 billion was almost $19 billion more than in 2000.
Homestead exemptions accounted for about 86 percent of all exemptions. 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 2001 study, before exemptions, revealed an increase of 14 percent in the value of single-family residences, following an increase of 13 percent in 2000. This category is the largest in appraised value, representing 45 percent of the total school district appraised values. Multi-family residences values increased almost 13 percent in 2001, following more than an 11-percent increase in 2000.
Changes in business properties’ values varied, depending on the type. Commercial real property increased more than 11 percent, the same percent increase from last year.
Industrial real property increased almost 13 percent; the category’s 2000 values increased 10 percent.
Industrial personal and commercial personal properties continue to increase in value. Industrial personal increased more than 13 percent (compared to 9 percent in 2000) and commercial personal rose 8 percent (compared to less than 1 percent in 2000).
Utilities declined almost 2 percent in value from 2000 to 2001, after decreasing about 15 percent in 2000.
Oil, gas and minerals have seen both ups and downs in recent years. For a second year in a row, however, values increased — almost 58 percent in 2001 — following almost 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.