Property Tax Protection Program

Sum of Texas Appraisal District budgets, including ARBs. Source: Texas Comptroller, compiled by O’Connor, and not affiliated with any appraisal district.

Millions of $
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Total Budget 383.2 408.3 428.5 447.3 495.0 494.9 523.4
ARB Operations Budget 9.6 9.5 9.5 9.5 9.7 11.0 13.5

Texas property owners should protest annually since YOU can spend YOUR money better than the government.

Texas CAD Operations and Budgets

Texas Appraisal District (Texas CAD) is a mystery to many people.

  • 1. Why do they exist?
  • 2. Who runs the operation?
  • 3. Who funds the operation?

Texas appraisal districts are quasi-governmental operations made possible by Tax Code Section 6 regarding the establishment of one appraisal district in each county. Appraisal districts were legislated into existence in 1979 to begin operation in 1981; the legislation is known as the “Peveto Bill”, based on the sponsor. Previously each city, county and school district valued property in their jurisdiction separately and had hearings regarding value. The board of directors consists of representatives of largest tax entities (school, county, city, MUDs, special districts). They are largely a “budget board” with two responsibilities: 1) select the chief appraiser (who runs the appraisal district) and 2) approve the annual budget. Texas appraisal district budgets were $523 million in 2018. We hope to provide insights with the graphs.

State of Texas Total CAD Budget Including ARB

Total Texas appraisal districts annual budgets, along with the budget for the county ARBs are summarized below. Texas appraisal district budgets are substantial. These are public servants paid with public money. Do you feel like a valued client when you visit the appraisal district? Are you surprised the total budgets for Texas appraisal districts exceeds $500 million per year?

Total Property Taxes Levied TexasSource: Texas Comptroller, compiled by O’Connor, and not affiliated with any appraisal district.

Billions of $
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Property Taxes Levied 43 48 64 74 62 67

Texas property owners should protest annually since Appealing annually helps the appraisal district avoid over-taxing a property for both market value and unequal appraisal.

Texas Total Amount of Property Taxes Levied

Texas tax entities total tax levies have been growing much faster than inflation. This has caused property taxes to rise much faster than inflation. Wage increases have been lean for the past 10 years. However, the total property tax levy for Texas and others have increased 7 to 10% consistently. This was a primary factor in the legislature passing Senate Bill 2 in 2019.

Total Texas property taxes are huge; approaching $100 billion per year.

FTE Positions in Budget Total –Texas Appraisal Districts Source: Texas Comptroller, compiled by O’Connor, and not affiliated with any appraisal district.

FTEs
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Total Number of FTEs 4625 4225 4616 4280 4275 4274 4418 4609

Texas property owners should protest annually since Valuation is a subjective matter where reasonable people can differ.

FTE Positions In Budget Total

Texas appraisal district staffing levels are illustrated below. Texas appraisal districts reported a total of 4,609 FTEs (full-time equivalents). Increased use of technology may reduce the need for appraisal district staff, or at least slow the level of expense growth.

FTEs Assigned to the Appraisal – Total for Texas Appraisal Districts Source: Texas Comptroller, compiled by O’Connor, and not affiliated with any appraisal district.

FTEs
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
FTEs Appraisal Total 1,180 2,120 2,381 2,249 2,227 2,222
Residential 862 1,919 1,121 1,119 1,147 1,187
Commercial 365 438 434 535 549 535
All Other 1,547 1,758 2,067 695 675 653

Texas property owners should protest annually since It is a great way to slow the growth of government spending (of your money).

State of Texas FTEs Assigned to the Property Appraisal

Texas appraisal district has two groups of staff: 1) appraisers and 2) administrative staff / everyone else. Statewide appraisers (2,221) account for just under half (48%) of total staff at Texas appraisal districts. The graph provides a total and individual numbers for residential and commercial by year.

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