We reported the story last night about the dozens of neighborhoods where tax appraisals went up, but property sales are dropping. It is a somewhat sobering look at a city where we are allegedly not affected by the nation’s real estate troubles.
If you want to see what’s happening in your neighborhood/zip code click here.
The issue seems to be one of timing. Tax bills are printed with your home value as of January first. The sales data we examined is through May 31. Five months of sales haven’t been good to many neighborhoods. The bulk of them are in the $85-150,000 price range. That says Houston Area Realtors chair Michael Levitin is the group most affected by the mortgage crisis.
A Business Week article this week predicts government agencies will have a tough time next year because of dropping revenues. HCAD does not predict the same here in Harris County predicting a tax roll increase of 8% overall.
With that said there were a lot of things I couldn’t squeeze into the piece last night:
- Of the 350,000 people who protest taxes, 80% of them win. * When I said that in the studio (off air) last night, a colleague suggested that is absolute proof of something wrong with the system. You agree?
- The new iSettle system is working well. There is at least some fear that it will become so popular even more people will use it and overload the protest system. It already takes 6 months of hearings to get through them all.