May 28, 2020 — Austin

Texas REALTORS® announced the next phase of the association’s campaign to educate taxpayers on the importance of engaging in the property tax process.

“As the leading advocate for Texas property owners, our association is working to educate Texans about recent changes to the property tax process while communities prepare for the annual budgeting process this summer,” said Cindi Bulla, 2020 Texas REALTORS® chairman.

This is the first year that many property tax reforms resulting from legislation passed in 2019 will be in place, including more transparency and engagement opportunities for taxpayers.

Local governments collect property taxes to pay for services such as schools, roads, and emergency response. During the budgeting process, they will seek input from taxpayers about how much to collect and how to spend those funds.

“The people we elect to our city councils, county commissions, and school boards have the power to determine our property tax bills with the tax rates they adopt,” Bulla said.

The association also recognized state leaders for reminding taxpayers that elected officials at the local level—not state or federal—have the power to determine property tax bills. 

“We commend our state leaders including Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick for their recent remarks urging taxpayers that the focus should be on local tax rates rather than appraised values.”

Some officials have called for freezing property values in an attempt to lower property tax bills for Texans. However, Texas REALTORS® is working to help taxpayers understand that freezing values will not guarantee lower property tax bills.

“No matter how high property values increase or how low they decrease, it’s the tax rates set by our local officials that will directly raise or lower our tax bills,” Bulla said.

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