The chief appraiser of our appraisal district had this quote attributed to her in the Times recently:
“We’ve been able to increase (property) values and put more income in your budgets. Remember that it takes people to do that.”
She was speaking to her board of directors.
The chief appraiser is wrong. Texas law requires the appraisal district to set a value on each piece of property. That value is then used to determine the proportionate share of a particular tax burden that the property will bear.
In other words if a particular property is valued at 200 dollars and the total value of all properties is in a particular taxing district is $1,000 then that property will bear 20% of the tax burden for that district.
The taxing entity then sets their tax rate. They must first determine how many cents per hundred dollars of the most recent valuations from the appraisal district will be required to come up with the same tax revenue as they came up with last year.
As an example, if our $200 dollar property last year was taxed at five cents per hundred the tax bill for the property would be ten cents. Once again if the value of all the properties was $1,000 the total tax bill would be fifty cents.
If the next appraisal raised the value of the properties to a total of $2,000 then the tax rate would need to be two and one half cents per hundred, yielding the same fifty cents.
After the appraisal district determines the individual and total valuations of the properties the taxing entities then determine what the new tax rate must be in order to raise the same amount of revenue.
In Texas the taxing entity can change their rate to lower (that seldom happens) or raise their tax revenue. If the new tax rate results in more than an 8 percent increase in revenue a roll back election is in order for some of our governments.
There are some exceptions to the basic formulas above but it should be clear that the appraisal district does not raise revenue for anyone. They spend revenue.
Know your place
Our chief appraiser is off the reservation.
Referring to the appraisal district’s legal budget, the Times article provided this quote from her:
“When you chip that down to next to nothing, we’ll have to just roll over and give (property owners) whatever they want because we won’t be able to defend our appraisals and provide the best values to the entities.”
It sounds like she considers the property owners to be her opponents.
Maybe she should apply for the job of city manager.
We deserve better