East Texans see property taxes rise, officials say supply and demand are to blame

TYLER, Texas (KETK) — It’s property tax season, and East Texas homeowners may have gotten the bad news in their mailboxes recently. Many East Texans have seen a property tax hike, and officials have blamed it on supply and demand.

Many owners were shocked and appalled like Tyler’s Scott Ellis.

“I hope it doesn’t affect me a lot because I have my exemptions and I’m over 65, but rental properties affect you a lot,” Ellis said.

East Texans took to social media platforms like Facebook and the Nexstdoor app to complain.

“There should be a limit to some of these things,” Ellis said.

Ellis owns several rental properties as well as his own home, all of which have seen strong increases. The biggest question he raised was “why?”

“The rules are there,” said Henderson County chief assessor Bill Jackson. “We have to be at market value or our schools will not be comp property tax division compliant and if you are not compliant with your schools your schools will lose state funding.”

Jackson said more and more people are moving from bigger, more expensive cities to less expensive communities and created demand that in turn inflates property values.

“The more demand you have and no supply, the more it’s going to drive up the price of properties,” Jackson said. “My realtor friends here tell me they’ve been buying a lot and are doing anything to sell. This is an unusual situation for us right now statewide,” Jackson said.

Another important factor is the tax rate.

“You don’t owe any property taxes until local officials vote and pass a tax rate,” said District 6 state representative Matt Schaefer.

Local elected officials will meet during the summer once all the expertise has been set to decide on the tax rate.

“You pay more property taxes if the assessed value goes up and the tax rates stay the same as last year,” Schaefer added. “You pay the same property taxes as last year if your assessment value goes up, but the tax rates are lowered to what’s called ‘no new income tax rates’.”

Those who would like to contest the new assessment of their property, can appeal. East Texans and contact their county’s assessment district, go to the assessment review board and prove their case.

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