Houston City Council to consider slight property tax rate reduction

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Houston City Council will consider approving a $0.02 reduction in the city’s property tax rate Sept. 11.

Council members approved putting the proposed rate of $0.5679 per $100 valuation on the next agenda, which is a reduction from the 2018 rate of $0.5883 per $100 valuation, effectively a 3.47% rate decrease.

A reduction is required because of a voter-approved revenue growth cap, which is set at either 4.5% or a calculation that factors in inflation and population growth, whichever is less. The cap has been in place since 2004.

The median single-family home value in 2018 was $245,000, according to City of Houston Financial data. Based on that value, a homeowner’s property tax bill would drop by about $50 if the appraised value stayed the same in 2019. However, if the property’s value increased between 2018 and 2019, the homeowner would see little to no tax reduction.

Mayor Sylvester Turner told reporters Sept. 4 that the city’s revenue cap has steadily cut the city’s spending power since 2014.

“We will not be able to take advantage of about $43 million [of property tax revenue]… that would have been made available to the city for more police officers and other services that are vitally needed,” he said.

He said the estimated untapped revenue for the city since 2014 has totaled about $700 million.

Editor’s note: this post has been updated for clarity.

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Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered health care and public education in Austin.
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