HOUSTON – At the request of Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), the Harris County Appraisal District (HCAD) on Friday corrected the property value information it had previously presented to the Senate Select Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief. In a statement Friday morning, HCAD reported that the average market value of a single family residence Harris County was $214,000 for 2015, rather than the $241,000 the district reported at the select committee’s May hearing in Houston. The $214,000 value is up substantially from 2013.

“I want to thank the new Harris County Chief Appraiser Roland Altinger for setting the record straight,” Sen. Bettencourt said. “As estimated during testimony, I assumed it was over a 30 percent increase in three years (the base year 2013 plus 2014 and 2015), which is still a substantial increase in values. As another high single digit increase is expected in Harris County for 2016, we must recognize the obvious for homeowners that as appraised values go up, unless the tax rate is lowered, tax bills go up as well.” He added: “The same is true for business owners as well.”

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The average market value of a single family residence for 2015 was $214,987. That is up dramatically from 2014’s $187,179 value and 2013’s $162,728 value. The rising market value trend for single family residences is expected to continue in the 2016 tax year, with an estimated increase of 8 percent plus, by previous testimony. Through 2016, the three-year trend on single family residences would be a 43 percent increase, as currently estimated. This mirrors the three-year (2012-2015) tax levy increase in Harris County of 40 percent (over $500 million), which was already documented by the committee.

“Once again, tax bills are increasing 3 times faster than Texans paychecks. Taxing entities must reduce their tax rates as property values literally climb through the roof,” Sen. Bettencourt concluded.

Sen. Bettencourt is the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief. The select committee has held hearings throughout Texas to listen to testimony about the property tax process and recommend ways to reduce the tax burden on property owners. The committee plans to release its legislative report later this year. Archived broadcasts of the select committee’s 2016 hearings can be accessed online.

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