By Elsa Maxey
If you’re a property owner in Fort Bend County, check out your city and county tax rate and others affecting you, like MUDs or special districts. You might end up paying less in property taxes than you did last year. That’s because cumulatively, property values came in at lower amounts when the tax rolls were released by the Fort Bend Central Tax Appraisal District for at least two of the larger cities in Fort Bend County for this tax year. For taxing authorities, which depend on that income to operate at a level residents have come to expect, that meant they had to make budget adjustments in expenditures, make other adjustments and/or adjust the tax rate itself…upwardly. So, for property owners, what you will pay this year depends on the valuation of your property compared to last year and the adopted tax rates affecting you.
Sugar Land’s new fiscal year just got started this month as did its new tax rate, which was just a tad higher than last year’s rate. The tax rate is now 30.245 cents, about a quarter of a penny higher. As for the city, it maintains that the new rate brings in the same revenues collected from the same property taxpayers as were collected the previous year. Sugar Land said some tax bills may increase and some may decrease depending on changes to an individual’s property value.
In Missouri City, the current property tax rate of .5284 will remain unchanged, although the city also, like Sugar Land, experienced a drop in certified property values. Last month, Missouri City considered a tax increase, but did not go there for at least one more year “with an emphasis on tightening our spending belt even more.”
Stafford, the city with no property taxes for the past 17 years, that’s right…zero, places a high emphasis on eliminating its general obligation debt as it continues to focus on enhancing the city’s appearance and make major infrastructure improvements. Reports indicate that its hotel occupancy tax has grown, but interest income, which has been another revenue source for the city, has fallen considerably. So, this year, the city once again did what last year became the first-time ever used option. It applied money from its reserves to the general fund. On a positive note, it’s just a matter of time, 2014, before Stafford pays off all of its outstanding general obligation debt. Mayor Leonard Scarcella expects it to be one of the few governmental entities operating nationwide to have its total general obligation debt fully covered, a message he aimed at getting the Tea Party’s attention.
Richmond ‘s tax rate is the same as last year at .7865. Rosenberg’s property tax rate remains at .50 per $100 valuation. It has stayed consistent for several years. It used to be .55.
Fulshear in the northwest part of Fort Bend County lists a property tax rate of .205, the same as last year.
Fort Bend County’s tax rate will remain the same at 49.976 cents per $100 valuation. Its adopted budget with a little over five percent of an increase will make up the difference between the income and expenditures gap with funds from the general fund balance.
Fort Bend ISD kept the tax rate at $1.34 per $100 valuation, the same as last year. Stafford Municipal School District this year approved an 11 cent increase in its tax rate. It is $1.22 per $100 valuation as compared to $1.11 last year.
LCISD’s adopted new property tax rate is $1.39 per $100 assessed value, up two and a half cents from last year. Katy ISD’s budget was developed and adopted with the previous year’s unchanged tax rate of $1.5266.
Area residents can expect to start receiving their tax bills in the mail this month.