Property taxes imposed by the city of Laredo are growing faster than many people would consider reasonable.

According to its latest available Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR), the amount of property tax monies sought by the city rose from $67,621,015 in 2013 to $99,359,198 in 2022, representing a 46.9% hike in the levy (see pg. 318 of the ACFR). That is a substantial increase in the cost of city government not supported by population and inflation trends.

Over the same period, the city’s population grew from 247,543 to 258,014, representing a 4.2% increase (see pg. 318 of the ACFR). Inflation rose a bit more robustly, at 25.6% (see CPI – U.S. city average, All items). Combined, population and inflation in Laredo grew by just 29.8%.

The difference between these two measures—i.e. actual growth rate vs. ideal growth rate—suggests that the city is over-taxing property owners and should do more to limit its appetite, like voluntarily undergo a third-party efficiency audit, regularly employ zero-based budgeting, or utilize other strategies to bring down costs. By taking these steps, city officials can bring balance to its property tax system and better protect those paying the bills.

What do you think—is the city of Laredo taxing too much?