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Lower Taxes for Schools Doesn’t Mean Lower Taxes for You

If there’s one thing we as Texans hate, it’s paying property taxes. Compared to many other states, our property taxes are through the roof. You’re lucky if you’re paying under $3,500 for $150,000 home – many pay more. Colorado residents would expect to pay less than half that for the same value property

Many people believe that state officials set your school property tax rate but they don’t – they just decide how much money local officials are required to raise. But if the state spends less money per student, where does the rest of the money come from? Your local district. In turn these local districts will raise your property taxes to make up that difference.

These are the numbers in 2017:

Locals pay 52 percent, the state pays 38 percent and the feds are still at 10 percent.

The effort to limit growth in property taxes levied by other local governments have pretty much failed. Gov. Greg Abbott has said he will put the newest bill on the agenda of the midsummer special session. One version, passed by the Senate and apparently favored by the governor, would have required voter approval for any local property tax increase of more than 5 percent. But, at the end of the day, this kind of bill wouldn’t really save you money. It might just slow the rate at which your property taxes grow.

To make up for these outrageous taxes, they could cut spending, except it has proven nearly impossible to do that in Texas. Partly because the state budget is tight already, and when you get down to it, the programs that would be cut are more popular than the tax cuts that might result. People want new roads to be built and old ones to get fixed. They want schools and prisons and so much more, and the political experts who run the government have ascertained that it’s more rewarding to keep current programs alive than to cut taxes.

It looks like Texas may be stuck with high property taxes for quite a while, even though the Senate is currently trying to trick you into thinking otherwise.

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