HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — Why could the booming real estate market be bad news for homeowners in Harris County?
The housing market is red hot right now. Demand is high and supply is low, driving up prices across the country. Even if you're not looking to sell or buy your home, you could still pay the price thanks to property taxes.
The head of the Harris County Appraisal District says the increase in market values for 2022 is unprecedented. Now they're mailing out letters telling homeowners how much more their home is worth, and people are getting sticker shock.
That’s because the average home value has increased 21% in one year. But that’s just the average. Some have increased by as much as 30%.
And pretty much everyone is getting hit. The Harris County Appraisal District says the values of over 95% of residential properties in the county have increased.
The good news is the homestead exemption in Texas caps the yearly increase at 10 percent.
So what can you do if you are facing a big property tax bill?
First, check and make sure you're actually getting that homestead exemption. There are other exemptions for seniors and the people with disabilities that can lower your bill. You can check on those at HCAD.org.
You can also file a protest by the May 16 deadline. Instructions on how to do that will be in that appraisal letter sent out by the county.
Note: The following video was uploaded on March 21, 2022