Getting more for our tax dollar
During the recent regular and special sessions of the State Legislature, several bills were considered that would reduce the ability of city and county governments to adjust property tax rates to serve local needs. These bills would have reduced local control over property taxes that is now vested in city councils and county commissioners.
Although these bills did not pass, it is likely that this topic will continue to be discussed by the state government. This report on the City of Fredericksburg property taxes is being provided so that local citizens will have a better understanding about city property taxes and how we use tax revenues to provide improved city services.
Property tax assessments
First of all, the amount of city property taxes paid by property owners is based upon two factors — the appraised value and the tax rate. Appraised values are set by the Gillespie Central Appraisal District, and by state law, these values are required to be set at market values. The state conducts regular audits of the appraisal district to ensure that they are substantially complying with this requirement.
Recently, many property owners in the city of Fredericksburg experienced an increase in their appraised values. These values increased for several reasons, including recent increases in prices paid for both residential and commercial properties.
In addition, improvements to property such as the construction of new buildings and renovations to existing buildings often result in an increase in valuations.
In terms of the city tax rate, five years ago, our city property tax rate was 26.47 cents per $100 in property valuation. Last year, the tax rate was set at 24 cents per $100 valuation. This week the council adopted a property tax rate of 22.56 cents per $100 valuation.
This is a 14.8-percent reduction in the tax rate over the past five years.
The City of Fredericksburg has one of the lowest tax rates in the state. (See chart.)
A number of Texas cities depend heavily on property tax revenues to fund general government services such as police, fire, streets and parks.
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