Tarrant County Property Tax Town Hall Meetings

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Tarrant County Commissioner Andy Nguyen has scheduled two Town Hall meetings this month to address county property taxes. Nguyen is advocating for Tarrant County and JPS Hospital district – which both levy a property tax – to provide relief by adopting a 20% homestead exemption.

If you care about property taxes, you should attend and express your opinion!

Did you know that Tarrant County did not join Collin and Montgomery Counties in publicly supporting statewide property tax reform passed by the Texas Senate in 2017, known at SB2?

Senate Bill 2 was heard in the House Ways and Means Committee today in Austin. The debate over the reform shines a light on how our property taxes are assessed in Texas. State lawmakers in support of the bill recognize that local governments are often deceptive in how they present tax rates. They try to blame the appraiser’s office or even disguise a tax hike as a tax “reduction.”

The simple fact is this: the County Tax Appraiser alone does NOT determine what you pay in property taxes. Your county, city, and ISD officials set tax rates after you property is appraised each year.

When property values go up, those same entities can lower your tax rate, without losing any tax revenue.

This equalizing tax rate is called the “effective” rate. When the effective rate is adopted, the taxing entity collects roughly the same amount of revenue from the same properties it also taxed the previous year. It will, of course, collect additional revenue from new properties added to the tax rolls, which helps financed expanded services.

The bottom line is this: If your county, city, and/or ISD does not each adopt the effective rate, they are raising your property tax bill.

Much is said about city and school taxes, yet county taxes are often overlooked. Counties CAN give relief to homeowners when appraised values rise. In fact, the combined tax burden between Tarrant County and JPS is larger than some cities. In addition to lowering the tax rate to the “effective” rate, counties can adopt a homestead exemption of up to 20%. For instance, Democrat-lead Dallas County offers the maximum homestead exemption of 20% for both the county and the Parkland hospital district.

Tarrant County does not currently offer any homestead exemptions for neither the county nor the hospital district.

Commissioner Nguyen has demonstrated a consistent effort to keep his district informed and receive input from his constituents. The other three Commissioners have not announced a Town Hall for May. If you are in one of their districts, please call your Commissioner and ask him to hold a Town Hall for your district. Ask him to support a homestead exemption and the reduction of the tax rate all the way down to the effective rate in 2017.

No matter which district you live in, attend one of Commissioner Nguyen’s Town Halls and bring a friend!

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