Texas’ local property tax burden ranks 14th highest nationally and weighs heavily on homeowners and businesses statewide; but research suggests that relief may be only a few modest reforms away.
Local property taxes levied across the state increased by 101.1% compared with only a 70.3% increase in compounded population growth plus inflation from fiscal years 2000 to 2013. This substantial increase in property taxes has increased property owners’ mandated tax liability by almost 30% to 9.8% of the state’s median income during this period. Meanwhile, state sales tax revenue, supported by discretionary purchases, rose by 86.2%. Voters also recently indicated their concern about the mounting property tax burden by their response to Proposition 1 on the March 2016 Republican primary election ballot that read: “Texas should replace the property tax system with an alternative other than an income tax and require voter approval to increase the overall tax burden.” It passed by a wide margin with 69.5% in favor.