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As Texas home values skyrocket, state officials wrestle with how to slow property tax increases

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DALLAS — As Texas’ exploding real estate market dramatically drives up home values, homeowners are getting sticker shock after receiving notice of their properties’ new appraised values — which help determine how much they pay in property taxes.

The growth rate of home values in the state’s major metropolitan areas has surged by double digits. In Harris County, the state’s most populous county, residential values have risen between 15% and 30%, according to Roland Altinger, the county’s chief appraiser.

In Bexar County, the median value of a home appreciated nearly 25% to $265,540.

And in Travis County, where the state’s housing crunch has been most apparent, the median home value has skyrocketed — climbing more than 50% since last year to $632,208.

“We have never seen anything like this,” said Marya Crigler, chief appraiser at the Travis County Appraisal District. “This is unprecedented for us in Travis County. And I think that same unprecedented appreciation is being seen statewide.”

But an increase in value doesn’t necessarily guarantee a dramatically larger tax bill, appraisers and property tax experts caution.

“Many factors complicate how property taxes are calculated,” said Adam Perdue, a research economist at the Texas Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University.

It’s likely that at least some local governments will have to cut their property tax rates in order to fall in line with recent state laws meant to slow property tax growth. And the state’s top elected officials are already making new promises to bring down Texans’ property tax bills. But recent laws haven’t stopped property tax growth altogether.

It’s likely that at least some local governments will have to cut their property tax rates in order to fall in line with recent state laws meant to slow property tax growth. And the state’s top elected officials are already making new promises to bring down Texans’ property tax bills. But recent laws haven’t stopped property tax growth altogether.

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