Texans Concerned About Rising Property Taxes amid Economic Downturn

Texans are pushing back amid rising property taxes. Many are disputing their recent appraisals.

Texas property owners are not happy about potential increases in their taxes, especially because they're based on values that don't take into account a pandemic, a drop in oil price, or a shutdown of the global economy. Before COVID-19, Texas saw a booming real estate market. James Quintero, with the Texas Public Policy Foundation in Austin, says it’s city and county leaders who are responsible because they set the tax rate.

“We need them to step up and really care for taxpayers at this time. Again, we have a lot of people who are unemployed and underemployed and those folks really need our help right now,” Quintero said.

Governor Greg Abbott won't freeze property values because of the pandemic, but Quintero says ultimately, it's those local tax rates that determine the size of everyone’s property bills.

Quintero also told KTRH there’s a legal debate over a new state law regarding property taxes. It states a city can’t raise them by more than 3.5 percent without voter approval. However, during disasters that trigger can go up to 8 percent.

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