“County proposes smaller budget, flat tax rate”
by Zen T.C. Zheng published July 13, 2010
Fort Bend County Property Tax Help.
We structure a lot of property tax loans for clients in Fort Bend County who need help paying their property taxes and as such, we keep a close eye on the market. With that said, I found this article about Fort Bend County’s proposed budget and property tax rates interesting and wanted to post some highlights to help those in Fort Bend County understand what to expect with regard to property taxes this coming year.
It is important to note that Fort Bend County’s tax assessor doesn’t necessarily collect for all taxing jurisdictions. Some Fort Bend County residents will also be taxed by municipal utility districts (MUDs) and/or school districts separately. To learn more about your tax rate adjustments for these jurisdictions, you will need to contact those taxing jurisdictions directly, but the County Appraisal District will still establish the value upon which these tax rates are applied regardless of jurisdiction.
From the referenced article, it appears that county officials and planners are attempting to trim the budget versus the prior year:
“While setting a $235 million budget target about $10 million less than the current year -”
Which is great considering this amount reflects how much of your money they plan to spend, but they still received requests from the differing agencies that were $10 million more than the current year:
“…but we've still received their requests (i.e. – the government agencies) totaling $255 million," said Pam Gubbels”
Despite these requests, they forecast a compromise that will still be lower than the current year by about $6 million:
“…planners may end up settling on a $239 million compromise to accommodate the needs of various county departments.”
Of course, the key word here is “may”.
More interesting perhaps, is how they plan to meet this budget:
“This year's appraised values countywide are estimated at $40 billion, about $1 billion more than last year, out of which $4 billion is being re-examined by the appraisal district's Appraisal Review Board, Gubbels said.”
County Officials and Planners have two levers they control to ultimately determine the planned property tax revenue – the first is property tax rate, which they propose to keep flat – especially since the rate is the more political and publicly scrutinized of the two (after all this lever affects everyone equally), and then there is the appraised value of real property against which the property tax rate is applied. As we can see here, the countywide values went up about $1 billion for 2010. I haven’t looked in depth into Fort Bend County, but this increase is driven from one of two sources (and likely from a combination of the two), new development or increases in property values. To verify the appraised value of your property, go to www.fbcad.org
To learn more about how to protest your appraised value, see this blog.
What residents of Fort Bend County may find interesting, especially if they are behind in their property taxes, is the following comment:
“County officials are predicting less property tax revenues this year, in part due to property value protests and possible paybacks to owners who filed lawsuits against the county's Central Appraisal District disputing appraised values.”
Property Tax Loans Available for 2010 Property Taxes in Fort Bend County Texas.
Counties such as Fort Bend operate on a very tight budget and property tax income represents over 80% of their revenue. Considering the current economy, this typically means aggressive collection efforts from tax assessors and their attorneys.
To prevent increased penalties, court costs, and legal fees, now may be the ideal time to seek help with your Texas property taxes via a property tax loan. To learn more, feel free to call us at 1-877-776-7391 or contact us through our “apply now” form here.