Houston's property values on the rise

April 24, 2013 8:33:58 PM PDT
Property tax bills are starting to show up in mailboxes. And if you're surprised by how high this year's valuation is, you're not alone.

The Houston economy is booming, strong home sales, more jobs, the fastest growing economy in the nation, sounds great...one draw back, property taxes are once again going up.

Houston's real estate story is impressive. It's had 22 months of increasing sales. The employment picture is great. Last year, the city saw more than 95,000 jobs created.

Added to that, the area ranks at the top of corporate relocations and expansion, according to Site Selection Magazine.

But there is a down side to a fast growing economy -- rising property taxes.

"One gal just got her notice this week. Her home went from $215,000 to $279,000. She basically came in, literally shaking. She didn't know what she was going to do," former tax assessor Paul Bettencourt said.

Bettencourt now runs a property tax protest firm. Bettencourt says commercial property values are up 50 percent, apartment values are up 30 percent and homeowners can expect to see property values increase as well.

"If your home is worth more than $250,000, it's very likely -- two-thirds chance -- that it's up in value," Bettencourt said.

While the overall residential tax increase is just four and a half percent, the appraisers at the Harris County Appraisal District tell us the increases will continue over the next two years and will touch nearly all homeowners.

"By the time we get to 2015, it's expected that the entire segment of residential property will have recovered and of course their values will go up," said Guy Griscom with the Harris County Appraisal District.

If you have not gotten your appraisal in the mail, you can check it out on line and file a protest on line if you think the value is too high.

The deadline for filing a protest is May 31.

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