Taxes are always a hot button issue with people around the nation. Of course, property taxes play a major role in the government and economy of the state of Texas. With property tax assessments being mailed out to land owners, 2014 is certainly going to bring some surprises.

Appraisals from the county appraisal districts (CADs) throughout Texas are really the basis for how much property owners can expect to pay on their yearly property taxes. A lot of things influence property tax assessments and tax rates, but there may be some overall trends throughout the nation that play an even larger role.

Home Prices on the Rise

One of the major indicators of a home’s value is, of course, the price at which it is sold. You can also take a look at home prices in certain areas to approximate the value of comparable homes. A report by the San Jose Mercury News has suggested that home prices throughout the nation are rising by an average of 13.4 percent. This is particularly true for places like Austin, Texas.

What this says to homeowners and property owners, however, is that values are increasing. This also means that appraisals are also going to see an increase. More houses are becoming more valuable, and this increase may correlate to higher property tax assessments.

Tax Rates Rising Too?

According to the Texas Tribune, the state has the 14th-highest property tax totals in the nation. Property tax is a major business in Texas, but there is also another business that has started cropping up in recent years. Property tax loans have started to become commonplace throughout many areas in Texas.

Of course, part of this could be attributed to the rise in property values, but it could also signal an increase in tax rates. Because Texas does not levy any personal income taxes, most governmental institutions rely heavily on the money earned from property taxes. In some cases, that means they could be willing to increase the tax rate to earn more money.

Improving Economy

On the whole, the economy is making strides throughout the state of Texas and the nation. More jobs are being created and more people are finding ample work. Again, this may correlate to a combination of higher property values, higher tax assessments, and higher tax rates.

Of course, the increases are always going to be regional. There are some localities that are struggling more than others even within the state boundaries. Rural areas might not be as well-off as urban areas.

In any event, the forecast for 2014 is one that should see higher property taxes. Areas with economic progress and higher home values are naturally going to see increased tax assessments and tax rates.

It’s important to prepare yourself for these increases if you live in an area with higher property prices. You may also want to keep an eye on tax rates from the various taxing units (e.g. counties, cities, school districts, etc.). You can speak out against rises in tax rates by attending meetings and council sessions.

If you are looking for information regarding property tax assessment and tax rates in the Houston area, contact O’Connor & Associates today!