Insanely stupid liberal residents, like Gretchen Gardner from Austin, are to blame. And now they’re paying the price. See some of what they’re facing in this Hot Air article.
Regardless who is at fault, all property-owning Texans, who do not pay a state income tax, and in many cases no sales taxes, must pay some of the most burdensome property taxes in the nation. These tax rates hovered around 1% of property value in the 1980s and now are about 3%. That amounts to a yearly bill of about $6000 for a $200,000 property, even for someone with no income whatsoever. In contrast, tax rates in Colorado (for example) are about half a percent. This doesn’t necessarily mean Coloradans pay fewer taxes, because they pay more in Income tax and sales taxes, but those taxes are proportional to earnings and spending, which can be moderated.
While I was in Houston last month, I talked to a California home-owner who was working in Houston after being laid off due to the languishing California job market. He was commuting home on the weekends. Despite the expense of flying every week, he was hesitating to buy a home in Houston due, explicitly, to the enormous Texas property taxes which he feared.
What is the trade-off for your state? It will vary, of course, depending on your income, property value and spending habits, but one should always make the calculation before being lured by the promise of low or non-existant income taxes.