Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Tax Relief Proposal Coming As Appraised Property Values Rise

The Tarrant County Appraisal District (TAD) sent notices of appraised values to property owners last week, based on market values as of January 1. Denton County values have been released as well.

Aggregate information is provided to the City by each appraisal district, with Tarrant County’s expected late April. City staff is currently developing a proposal for City Council to increase the homestead exemption, based on the preliminary values.

This is the first step for the City to establish the property tax revenue that will be used to develop the City’s FY 2017 budget.

Southlake’s expected increase is attributable to the increased value of existing residential and commercial property, as well as the value of new construction.

“We’re currently evaluating the information,” said Southlake’s Chief Financial Officer Sharen Jackson. “It’s too early to finalize our budget approach at this time, but the increase in property values is one of the factors considered when developing plans for property tax relief, and we are confident that economic growth will provide the opportunity for relief in the coming fiscal year.”

Since 2009 the City has implemented five tax relief initiatives (FY ’09, FY ’13, FY ’14, FY ’15 and FY ’16) focused on increasing the homestead exemption for residential property owners as new commercial properties have been developed.

“As Southlake’s commercial sector has grown, we have been able to more adequately balance the tax burden,” Jackson said. “We’ve moved from a 0% residential homestead exemption in 2008 to a 12% exemption adopted for the 2016 budget.”

Last year the City was able to return the increase in property values to homeowners through the adoption of a 12% exemption.

“We continue to build a growing City and have associated financial obligations. And, we’ve tried to limit debt through a pay-as-you go approach with certain infrastructure. But we are committed to balance needs with tax relief measures,” she said.

Staff will take a proposal to increase the homestead exemption to the Council in June.

City staff will work on the budget through the summer, finalizing it once certified values are received from each appraisal district, no later July 25. Public hearings on the budget will occur in late August and early September.