The Texas Comptroller published the Annual Property Tax Report for Tax Year 2009 this month. According to the report (the most recent available), total city property taxes increased 2.2 percent from tax year 2008 to tax year 2009. 

Such a meager increase is significant for several reasons.  First, Texas’ population grew by 1.9 percent from 2008 to 2009. 

Second, from December 2008 to December 2009, consumer inflation rose 2.7 percent.  Thus, combined population growth and inflation—the usual measure city critics cite when analyzing city property taxes—was, at 4.6 percent, more than twice what cities chose to increase their taxes. 

Third, the 2.2-percent increase includes new taxes levied on new construction.  Factor out new construction, as must be done to compare taxes on same-value homeowners and businesses (“apples-to-apples,” in other words), and the effective increase was likely much smaller than the reported 2.2 percent.  Also, five additional cities levied property taxes in 2009 compared to 2008.  Again, adjusting to the effective rate would yield an increase smaller than 2.2 percent.

The comptroller’s full report is available at

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