2002 Tax Year ChangesTaxing Units Will See Few Changes in Setting Tax Rates
When setting their 2002 property tax rate, some taxing units will see a few changes in the truth-in-taxation process. These changes vary by type of taxing unit. Some changes apply to school districts only.
All taxing units
All taxing units will see a change required by House Bill 2226 passed by the 77th Texas Legislature and effective for the 2002 tax rate. It requires the chief appraiser to give taxing units a list of those taxable properties that the chief appraiser knows about but are not included at the time the chief appraiser certifies the appraisal roll. These properties also are not on the list of properties that are still under protest.
On this new list of properties, the chief appraiser includes the market value, appraised value, and exemptions for the preceding year and a reasonable estimate of the market value, appraised value, and exemptions for the current year. A taxing unit’s assessor shall use the lower market, appraised, or taxable value (as appropriate) for computing the taxing unit’s effective and rollback tax rates.
For a school district that grants an application limiting a property’s value, the school board may not adopt a tax rate that exceeds its calculated rollback tax rate for the two tax years after approving the limitation. House Bill 1200, effective January 1, 2002, adds Tax Code Chapter 313, the Texas Economic Development Act. The act provides for limiting the appraised value of certain property used to create jobs.
This bill also excludes from “current total value” any new property value that is subject to a limitation agreement under Tax Code Chapter 313.
Effective September 1, 2001, a school district may change its fiscal year to begin July 1 (rather than September 1). A school district may change its fiscal year beginning with the 2002-2003 school year.
House Bill 3526 provides that the chief appraiser shall certify an estimate of the school district’s taxable values to the school district’s assessor by June 7. (The original date in legislation passed in 1999 had the date as June 15.) A school district uses the certified estimate in preparing its budget and tax rate hearing notice if it has not received a regular appraisal roll on or before June 7. The school district may adopt its budget using the estimate but may not adopt its tax rate until the district receives the certified appraisal roll.
After receiving a certified appraisal roll, the school district must publish a revised notice and hold another public meeting to adopt a tax rate that exceeds the rate proposed in the notice using the estimated values or exceeds the unit’s rollback rate.
New hospital district with sales tax
Effective September 1, 2001, House Bill 602 allows a hospital district created after September 1, 2001 to impose a sales and use tax to raise revenue without reducing property taxes. The hospital district must be located in a county or counties each with a population of 75,000 or less to impose the sales tax to raise revenue. The hospital district will not adjust its effective and rollback rates for the sales and use tax revenue.
The Comptroller’s Property Tax Division will review these changes and the entire truth-in-taxation process at regional seminars this June.