According to recent research, the property tax rate in Texas is one of the highest in the USA, with property owners paying around one-third more than the national average. At 1.83% for Texas as a whole and an even more substantial 1.97% for Austin, it’s no surprise that homeowners are feeling the pressure – and wondering exactly why these taxes are so high.
Despite having the 6th highest property taxes in the nation, the state of Texas has an average tax burden for its citizens. Sales tax for the state is comparatively low at 6.25% (it can reach a maximum limit of 8.25%) and there are no state income taxes.
However, as taxation is a vital source of revenue for local government, the burden falls squarely on property taxation to make up for the lack of other revenue. This money is utilized for essential resources for Texas citizens, including schools, libraries, emergency services, road maintenance and community safety measures.
If property tax reform occurred, this would likely result in redistributing the tax burden by implementing state income tax or introducing a higher sales tax to make up this shortfall. This is unlikely to occur even though it would mean tax relief on our annual property tax, as many of us enjoy the fact that there’s no income tax.
Property tax is determined as a percentage of your home’s value, so the more your home increases in value, the higher your property tax bill. For example, a home in Austin that is appraised at a value of $250,000 will pay around $4,933 per year. If this same home’s value increases to $275,000, the annual property tax bill will increase to $5,426. This is great for selling your home but is a substantial increase in annual taxation if you’re not. If you do find that your home has been overvalued, you can lodge a formal protest to have the property re-evaluated.
The State of Texas doesn’t determine what your property tax bill will be, as this is set by your local authorities. While this is a good thing in some ways as it keeps the power to change taxes local to your own community, it does mean that the state government can’t act to regulate or influence this taxation. The most they can do is pass a bill that tightens regulations on tax hikes, pass a law that allows residents of Texas to vote on tax increases in their local community, or increase state funding for public education (the largest item that property taxes cover). For these changes to occur, these would have to be passed by state legislature, which hasn’t happened at this point. In fact, state funding for public education has dropped in recent years from 45% to 38%.
Failing to pay your property taxes on time means facing stiff property tax penalties because the local government is so reliant on this revenue source. Currently, these penalties can amount to around 43% of your current tax bill, which makes it even more challenging for people finding themselves unable to pay on time.
This is a difficult situation to find yourself in, and the last thing you want is to be paying in even more on your bill - fortunately, there is a solution. Property tax lenders can offer you expert advice and services to deliver fast, effective tax relief. At American Finance & Investment Company, Inc, our compassionate and qualified team will settle your bill quickly, your property tax loan and customized repayment plan to help you get back on your feet.
To contact qualified property tax lenders for a property tax loan in Austin, please visit our website today at https://afic.co/austin-property-tax-lenders
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