It was a promise to the offset rising taxes that came with the higher appraisals. And if you are a Lubbock home or business owner you will soon learn property taxes are going up again. It's the same song and dance this time every year. "Of course we'd like to feel that our home is worth more than it is now. But how's it going to benefit us right now? Zero," said one home owner.
Property appraisals rose nearly 20% in the past three years. Lubbock City Councilman Gary Boren says this is the second year the city has come to the rescue to offset rising costs. "To rollback the city component part of your tax bill through the tax rate," said Boren.
But in order to lower the city's tax rate, the right combination must come together. This is how it works. You the tax payer pays 3/8 of a cent more in sales tax. You voted for the increase nearly two years ago. One quarter of it goes to lowering your property taxes. It means approximately $7 million is generated from the sales tax which enables the city to lower the tax rate to offset high appraisals. So, while you're paying more taxes for your home, you're paying less taxes to the City of Lubbock. Which means more money in your pocket and the cycle repeats.
Boren says in the past two and a half years, the City of Lubbock lowered the tax rate from 57 cents per 100 dollar valuation to 45 cents. Boren says the city started this because he felt the appraisal process was unfair. "What we don't want to do is see the government use the appraisal process as a tool to tax people," he said.
The city council meets this summer to discuss a tax rate cut during the budget session. Meanwhile, Lubbock County Commissioner Patti Jones says the county receives 41% of their revenue from property taxes. Jones says the county doesn't have another option like the city does to offset tax rates.