• Thu. Dec 1st, 2022

Property Values ​​Rise Locally in 2022 in Tomball, Magnolia

ByWillie M. Evans

May 20, 2022

Homeowners in Tomball and Magnolia may have seen a big increase in their home’s market value in assessment notices mailed out this spring.

From 2021 to 2022, the average market value of properties increased by 21% and 29.8%, respectively, in Harris and Montgomery counties, according to county data. By comparison, the average market value of properties has increased no more than 15.4% year over year in Harris County and 11.2% in Montgomery County in previous years. since 2010.

Jack Barnett, communications manager for the Harris County Assessment District, said all properties are assessed at full market value and determined by Jan. 1. Notices are sent to owners in the spring with a market value and an appraised value. Market value is the value of the home, while appraised value is the taxable value before property tax exemptions.

In previous years, the market and appraised values ​​have been similar, Barnett said. However, most homeowners may notice a discrepancy this year in values ​​due to the state’s 10% cap on appraised value increases as home values ​​rise.

As local tax entities begin budget discussions for the upcoming fiscal year, Tammy McRae, Montgomery County Chief Assessor-Collector, said at a tax workshop April 21 that she believes rates lower taxes were needed to compensate.

“When values ​​go up, tax rates have to go down,” McRae said. “You have to be careful about that because this year more than ever, most tax rates need to come down.”

Local lawmakers have proposed solutions to provide further relief to taxpayers.

“I have introduced a bill in every legislative session I’ve been in … that would cap all assessed property values ​​at a 5% increase just to protect Texans from what we’re seeing right now,” said Representative Cecil. Bell, R-Magnolia, said in an interview.

Appraisal values ​​increase

The increase in appraisal values ​​is the result of several factors. Montgomery County Chief Assessor Tony Belinoski said there is strong demand for homes in Texas, but a low inventory of homes to buy.

Appraisers factor in market transactions from home sales, and because so many homes have been sold above asking price, that drives up market value, according to Dick Lavine, senior tax analyst at Every Texan, a Austin-based public policy center.

“People really want to move into a new house; they pay above the asking price to get the house. This helps increase values,” Barnett said.

According to a May 3 press release from the Houston Association of Realtors, the median price of a single-family home in the Greater Houston area has increased by nearly $80,000 over the past two years.

Homeowners can protest the appraised values ​​if they believe they are inaccurate and have an informal hearing with the Appraisal Review Board, which can decide to reduce the appraised value. The protest deadline for homeowners was May 15.

Despite no guarantees of reduced appraised values, Belinoski said in an email that he encourages homeowners to protest, especially if they believe the market value is inaccurate and may provide information warranting an adjustment. County data shows that the number of protests filed increased by about 55% in Montgomery County and 114% in Harris County between 2015 and 2021.

“Most of the time [the ARB and homeowners] reach an agreement,” Belinoski said.

Unsustainable increase

The year-over-year percentage increase in average market value was in the single digits for five of the past six years in Harris County and all six years in Montgomery County, according to data from the districts of Evaluation.

As such, Belinoski said he was “shocked” by the 2022 valuation values.

Locally, the average market value of properties within the boundaries of Tomball ISD in Harris County increased 24.8% from 2021-22, following an overall increase of 29% from 2017-21, and 33 .3% within Magnolia ISD boundaries, after a total increase of 17.7% from 2017-21, according to data from the rating districts.

Property values ​​are rising faster than the median income in Harris and Montgomery counties, leaving people worried their taxes will rise so much they’ll be forced out of their homes, Bell said.

The TISD area’s median income rose 12.4% from 2015-20, according to five-year estimates from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, while county data shows market value Average properties in the Harris County portion of TISD increased 13.17% over this period. weather. The MISD area’s median income increased 14.5% between 2015 and 2020, while the average market value increased 25.77% during that time, according to Montgomery County data.

Thus, some owners say they are worried about the amount of their taxes this fall.

Jon Matlack, a Magnolia-area resident who lives within the TISD boundaries north of Spring Creek, said his home’s value has increased by 45%. He said his school and county taxes were up $2,649 from 2021.

“My mortgage increased by $220.75 per month to cover this increase,” he said in an email.

Adam Perdue, research economist at the Texas Real Estate Research Center, said the center expects the housing market to slow over the next year and prices to decline. In the Houston area between 2020 and 2021, there has been a 21% increase in home prices when there is typically a 5% increase over a two-year period, according to Perdue. ••“We expect to see [prices] fall much closer to that 5% or even fall below. We expect him to continue to be positive [increase] but slower than what we have seen in the past two years,” he said.

Although property values ​​have increased, taxing entities are limited to how much they can increase their property tax revenue. Counties and cities are limited to a 3.5% increase and schools to 2.5%, Perdue said.

“The tax jurisdictions are looking at this [appraisal valuation]and they determine what their rate will be, and that [tax] the rate should almost drop. [Taxing jurisdictions] don’t necessarily need more revenue because the valuation has gone up,” Perdue said.

looking for relief

Homeowners can see relief from ownership exemptions and two statewide proposals approved by voters on May 7.

Lavine said Proposition 1 changes the exemption for people with disabilities or over the age of 65, allowing school taxes to go down for those homeowners instead of being frozen at age 65 so the amount doesn’t increase. Proposal 2 increased the homestead school tax exemption from $25,000 to $40,000 on appraised value.

State Rep. Steve Toth, R-Woodlands, said while changes to the homestead exemption would help, he thinks they’re not enough. He advocates doing away with assessment districts and using a price-paid assessment, which he said 40% of states use in property tax calculations. Homeowners taxes would be based on the amount the home was purchased for instead of an ever-changing value.

Toth said he has introduced a bill advocating this in previous legislative sessions and is planning a hearing on it in the 2023 session, which begins Jan. 10.

Additionally, Bell said he believed the chief assessor for each county should be an elected position. He said he drafted a bill that is gaining traction this year.

“When you have that much authority, you have to be responsible and accountable to the people,” Bell said.

Jishnu Nair contributed to this report.