Homeowners Could Save Up to $274 Annually
Homeowners Could Save Up to $274 Annually if Commercial Property Owners Paid Tax on Their Real Values
New Analysis Quantifies the Cost to Average Homeowners When Large Commercial Property Owners Don’t Pay Their Fair Share
Houston, TX – New data analysis shows that homeowners in the state’s largest cities pay up to $274 more per year because many large commercial owners are manipulating the system to avoid paying tax on the real value of their properties.
Using 2013 data, Real Values for Texas found that a Texas homeowner who owns a $250,000 home could save between $200-$274 in annual property taxes if just the top 500 commercial property owners in six of the state’s largest counties paid taxes based on 100 percent of their property values. Communities could sustain their existing public services while lowering tax rates for everyone.
“Closing commercial property tax loopholes would provide significant savings for homeowners,” said Beverly Ortiz, Real Values for Texas Campaign Director. “It’s not fair that homeowners have to make up the difference for commercial property owners who shirk their responsibility to our community.”
When the largest commercial property owners push down their appraisals well below market value, it artificially shrinks the overall tax base, driving up property taxes for everyone.
This new analysis shows that tax rates are about 10% higher than they could be because most commercial property owners do not pay tax on the real market value of their property. If the state’s broken commercial property tax system were reformed to correct that inequity, a Houston homeowner of a $250,000 home could see a $264 reduction in their property tax bill each year.
Homeowners in five other large counties in Texas could experience similar savings:
- $274 in Tarrant County;
- $254 in Dallas County;
- $218 in Travis County;
- $208 in Bexar County; and
- $200 in El Paso County.
“Across Texas, homeowners are feeling the pressure of high property taxes, and our state’s broken commercial property tax system bears part of the blame,” said Buddy Villejo, San Antonio homeowner.
If the commercial properties analyzed had paid on their real values over the last five years, Texas homeowners could have saved approximately $5.6 million in all. Fixing our broken property tax system would take some pressure off of homeowners while maintaining public services we all rely on.
Large commercial properties like the Circuit of the Americas, JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa, and The Outlet Shoppes in El Paso, with the help of a cottage industry of tax consultants and lawyers, manipulate the Equal and Uniform provision in Texas property tax law to their advantage.
The full analysis can be read online at: http://realvaluesfortexas.org/2014/12/16/homeownerssave/. The site also contains more background and explanation on how commercial property owners game the system and the impact on homeowners and communities statewide.
Real Values for Texas is a campaign uniting homeowners, parents, community leaders, public officials, and working families across Texas to advocate for reform of our broken commercial property tax system. More info can be found at: www.realvaluesfortexas.org.