Why are home taxes in Houston so very high? And why do they calculate a home's taxes by the ESTIMATED renovation value instead of the purchase

Asked by Sherry, 24151 Thu Dec 24, 2009

price. I could see the taxes if it were already renovated, yet not before hand. Example, a home bought at 49,900K and the taxes would be $2983.00 per year on an ESTIMATED value, which it was not at time of purchase. From a buyers view ... it's quite the deal breaker. Please explain, why they would expect such a tax on the properties, BEFORE renovations.

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Bruce Lynn’s answer
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Thu Dec 24, 2009
This is how we raise taxes in Texas. No state income tax like nearly ever other state.
Taxes should be based on market value. The problem is most tax authorities have never seen the house.
They have no idea wha the value should be. They use a complicated algorithm that they won't share to determine what they say is the market value. Often this seems to be based on the surrounding property values. You can protest values and have them reevaluated. Best to take lots of evidence. Pictures are worth a thousand words....but you will also need to take comps of properties in similar conditions and show the prices they have sold for....you have to make your case why your property is not valued the same as others. Good luck
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1 vote
Texas Banker, , Houston, TX
Thu Dec 24, 2009

That is just in Texas, I cannot imagine the spending frenzy in the rest of the country.
1 vote
Texas Banker, , Houston, TX
Thu Dec 24, 2009
Taxes are high because money burns a hole in the politicians’ pockets.

70 % expenditure increase in last 9 years!!!

When will this insanity stop?

Biennium Term Estimated/Budgeted
2000-2001 $101.8 billion
2002-2003 $114.1 billion
2004-2005 $118.2 billion
2006-2007 $138.2 billion
2008-2009 $167.8 billion

Get involved people GET INVOLVED!!!!
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1 vote
Gail W. Nash, Agent, Houston, TX
Thu Dec 24, 2009
In this real estate climate, taxes are often assessed at a higher value than the purchase price. The buyer just needs to take the closing statement to the County Tax Office to have the assessed value adjusted accordingly. Also, you find inconsistent assessments, because some people choose to argue the assessed value that the county gives them in the Spring. In the summer, they get an appointment to argue their case in front of a panel or county person. Most of my clients do this every year, to keep their taxes low. Their assessment value is then quite attractive to a potential buyer. Some people equate the tax assessment value to market value, and they are not the same at all.
1 vote
LaRetta Allen, , Houston, TX
Thu Dec 24, 2009
It's not just Houston....most residents feel taxes are high all over the state. We don't have a state income tax, so property taxes fund our government and services. We also don't have legalized gambling as other states do, but some of those states still have a state income tax. Transferees coming for Louisiana think our taxes outrageous but then their schools are such that most residents send their children to private schools.

Thank goodness our property taxes are deductible on federal income tax.

Your questions is best answered by someone at HCAD. Give them a call; they will be happy to explain it to you. It has to do with the value of surrounding properties vs. the condition of the one being purchased.

LaRetta Allen
1 vote
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