Hi Friend,
Last week we had a great Property Tax Town Hall at the Cinco Ranch Library in Katy. Many residents came out to hear from Jordan Wise, the Chief Appraiser for the Fort Bend Central Appraisal District, and from me on what’s happening with valuations and how they are used to determine your final tax bill. You can read our Briefing on property taxes here to get a breakdown of a lot of what was covered at the town hall
Jordan and I spent some time at the beginning of the town hall presenting on property taxes before opening the floor up for comments and questions from the audience. A good portion of the meeting was spent listening to constituents and answering questions. We continued until there were no more comments or questions from the audience before adjourning. The feedback from the meeting was very positive and appreciative. The media didn’t report it this way and we’ll get to that later in this briefing.

Empowering individuals with the knowledge of how property valuations and rates are calculated and what tools and resources are at their disposal was our goal for the meeting. Ensuring homeowners had their exemptions filed and knew how to protest their valuations were the first steps. Next comes the establishment of the property tax rates by local governments. Dropping your address in will show you all the taxing entities for your property and once property tax rate and budget meetings are set, you’ll know where to attend and who to contact about your tax rates. 
The Texas Legislature continues to look at ways to reduce the tax burden on property owners. There are currently two propositions on the ballot that we passed out of the legislature during the last special session in 2021. If you have not voted on these propositions, the last day to vote is Election Day, May 7. Click here for more details on how to vote in Fort Bend County, polling locations listed below.
A brief breakdown of both of the Constitutional Amendments: 
Proposition 1 will benefit individuals with an over 65 or disabled exemption on their homestead.
  • If an individual has an over 65 or disability exemption on their home and this proposition passes, they will receive a reduction on school district property taxes.
  • HB 3 from the 86th Legislature compressed school maintenance and operation tax rates across the board except for over 65 and disabled homeowners because their rate was already lower than the new compressed rate for everyone else.
  • This amendment will provide for the same percentage reduction in an individual’s school district tax rate that everyone else received in 2019.
  • There are 1.8 million over homes utilizing the over 65 exemption and 180,000 homes utilizing the disability exemption. On average these households will see a $110 reduction in the first year and a $125 reduction in the second year. The reduction will continue to grow each year.
  • If there is additional school M&O tax rate compression provided by HB 3 in the future, individuals with an over 65/disabled exemption will receive the same percentage tax rate deduction automatically if this amendment passes.
  • This amendment will become effective as of January 1, 2023, if it passes.
Proposition 2 will increase the homestead exemption by $15,000.
  • If this amendment passes the state homestead exemption for school district taxable value purposes will increase from $25,000 to $40,000.
  • On average, the 5.67 million homesteads in Texas will see a $175 savings in their school district tax bill at the current average statewide school property tax rate.
  • This amendment will be effective as of January 1, 2022, if it passes, so homeowners will see the savings when they receive their property tax bill this fall.
  • This exemption increase is a permanent and ongoing benefit to homeowners.
Now back to the media reporting of the town hall. We do our best to work with the media and keep an open, responsive relationship with all outlets sharing information with the public. We met with the media that attended afterward and made sure everyone had our contact information and that there were no further questions to clear up before reporting. Unfortunately, sometimes we still need to correct the record afterward.

The media misunderstood or intentionally misrepresented a key point that was repeatedly made in the town hall: property valuation increases or decreases don’t automatically equate to higher or lower tax bills. The tax rate set by your local governments applied to your property valuation determines your final tax bill. The reporter stated that homeowners would pay thousands more for property taxes. That is just blatantly false and they acknowledge it in the next quote stating that property bills are still at zero as no rates have been set.

The published article also neglected to include the perspective of the majority of the participants who left appreciative of the information provided but instead spliced together bits of questions from attendees to paint a picture of something hostile and controversial. This type of reporting contributes to the spread of misinformation that is harmful to the vast majority of Texas families who just want information about their property taxes. 
This time of year when we get our updated property valuations is often stressful and confusing, and we appreciate everyone who took the time to participate in the town hall to get more information. We remain open to comments and questions about property taxes moving forward and hope you will reach out with your ideas or concerns. We will maintain an open-door policy to constituents and reporters seeking information, but we encourage the media outlets who regularly interact with us to ensure they are reporting factually correct information, even if it does not get you as many clicks and views as a more sensational report. We need partners in the media to help share good information, not just stir up reactions from the public.
If you are one of the many Fort Bend or Texas families who saw your property valuations increase, don’t forget 1) this is not a tax bill. You can still work with your local elected officials to discuss a tax rate that is appropriate. 2) You have until May 16th to protest your property valuation. The Fort Bend Central Appraisal District is recognized as one providing highly accurate appraisals, but they create them based on property sales and other data from the area. You have information that is specific to your property and might be relevant to your property valuations. For more information about protesting your appraisal, check out the instructions on the Fort Bend CAD website. You are also welcome to call or email my office if you need assistance and we can help direct you to the right information.
Thank you all again for your participation in this process. Government works best when you are informed and involved. If you have ideas or concerns about property taxes or any other topic, send us a note using the button below and we will check it out. 
Let us know your thoughts!
Our goal is to communicate effectively, with authenticity and simplicity, so that Texans know what and why things are happening, and how to make a difference in their community. We want to empower you with the right information to make things better for yourself, your family, and your neighbors. We will continue to work on this and we want to hear from you about how we can improve on any of the things discussed above.
Jacey Jetton
State Representative
Texas House District 26

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Each week, I will send you the "Weekly Briefing", where you will get the latest news on House District 26. These weekly briefings will ensure you know more than anybody else about what is happening in our district. When you are equipped and empowered, problems get solved and life gets better for everyone. Let's continue to make Texas a great place to live, work, and raise a family.
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