Answer: El Paso. By far.

Newly published documents reveal that Sun City imposes a much higher property tax rate than its peers. For fiscal year 2021, the El Paso City Council set its total tax rate at 90.7301 cents per $100 of taxable value. The next highest tax rate was set by Dallas at 77.65 cents per $100 of value. Interestingly, the city of Austin adopted the lowest tax rate of Texas’ large cities, at 53.35 cents per $100 of value, which assumes voters will approve an 8.75 cent tax rate increase in November.

Source: City of San Antonio Adopted Budget for Fiscal Year 2021

Of course, tax rates are only tell part of the story. Other variables, like valuations, are equally important in determining someone’s tax burden. But tax rates are unique in that a local governing body has discretion over them, and officials should ideally lower them every year. But here too, El Paso stands out.

Over the last few years, the city of El Paso’s property tax rate has increased significantly. Per the city’s website, its adopted tax rate has grown accordingly:

  • FY 2018: 80.3433 cents per $100 of taxable value;
  • FY 2019: 84.3332 cents per $100 of taxable value;
  • FY 2020: 90.7301 cents per $100 of taxable value;
  • FY 2021: 90.7301 cents per $100 of taxable value;

That level of growth is significant, to say the least. Considering how quickly El Paso’s tax rate has grown and how poorly it compares to other mega-cities, it might be time for local officials to aggressively attack the status quo and start doing things differently.