The net taxable value of property in Galveston County rose almost 6 percent to $22.67 billion for 2014, up from $21.41 billion in 2013, according to preliminary numbers from the central appraisal district.

Cities, school districts and other taxing entities across the county saw increases ranging from a low of 2.78 percent in the city of Texas City, to a high of 11.41 percent in the city of Bayou Vista.

Numbers released Monday at the newspaper’s request were preliminary and subject to change as millions of dollars in taxable value was at issue in protests filed by taxpayers seeking lower appraisals.

The tax rolls won’t be certified until next month. But many property owners had by last week already received notices about their annual tax liability, and some were complaining of steep increases, county Tax Assessor/Collector Sheryl Johnson said Friday.

Meanwhile, an increase of almost 8 percent in net taxable value in the city of Galveston was likely to fuel a debate among candidates in a May 12 city council election about whether that city should be considering a cut to the tax rate.

Net taxable value in League City, the county’s most populous city, rose by almost $396 million to $6.05 billion, a 7 percent increase compared to the $5.65 billion of taxable value certified in 2013. About $172 million of the increased taxable value was in new improvements and additions, more than 80 percent of which — $145 million — was appraised on residential construction.

More than $315 million in appraised value was under protest in League City, according to the district.

The city of Galveston saw the highest percentage increase — 7.79 percent — among the county’s large cities. The city added more than $353.5 million in taxable value for a 2014 preliminary total of just less than $4.9 billion, up from $4.5 billion in 2013. Just more than $34 million of the increased value came from new improvements and new additions, of which more than $31 million was in residential property. Almost $421 million of appraised value was under protest.

Galveston’s tax base was about $4.3 billion, excluding more than $236 million in special tax zones, just before Hurricane Ike in 2008. The base fell to just more than $3.6 billion after the hurricane, prompting the City Council to raise the tax rate to 55.4 cents per $100 of taxable value from about 49 cents. Some argue that was done with the promise the rate would be cut when the tax base rebounded to pre-Ike levels. Whether the next City Council should act on that promise has become a subject of debate among candidates vying for city council seats.


At a glance

Entity 2014 2013 Increase Percent

Bayou Vista $160 million $143 million 11.4

Clear Lake Shores $148 million $143 million 3.9

Dickinson $830 million $806 million $24 million 2.9

Friendswood $2.1 billion $2 billion $111 million 5.5

Galveston $4.9 billion $4.5 billion $353.5 million 7.8

Hitchcock $327 million $305 million $22 million 7.2

Jamaica Beach $274 million $264 million $9.4 million 3.6

Kemah $259 million $247 million $12 million 4.8

La Marque $679.4 million $642 million $37.4 million 5.8

Santa Fe $609 million $579 million 5.1

Tiki Island $343 million $309 million 11

Entity 2014 2013 Increase Percent

Clear Creek ISD $5.7 billion $5.4 billion $346 million 6.4

College of the Mainland $9.7 billion $9.2 billion $437 million 4.7

Dickinson ISD $2.9 billion $2.8 billion $148 million 5.3

Friendswood ISD $2.4 billion $2.2 billion $122 million 5.3

Galveston College $5.9 billion $5.6 billion $388 million 7

Galveston ISD $5.8 billion $5.4 billion $390 million 7.2

High Island ISD $82 million $78 million $3 million 4.9

Hitchcock ISD $568 million $520 million $47 million 9.2

La Marque ISD $1.5 billion $1.4 billion $83 million 5.7

Santa Fe ISD $1.18 billion $1.1 billion $74 million 6.7

Texas City ISD $3.9 billion $3.8 billion $101 million 2.7

Source: Galveston Central Appraisal District Preliminary Values 2014. All numbers rounded.

Contact Associate Editor Michael A. Smith at 409-683-5206 or michael.smith@galvnews.com.

(7) comments

Mike Leahy

The question is: did property values really rise, or did tax assessors merely raise them arbitrarily, so as to increase income to the various governmental bodies without trying to raise taxes in the clear light of day? And the sunshine of the spotless conscience...

George Croix

The answers are maybe, and most likely.
Personally, I'm overjoyed that I will have to waste less time figuring out how to spend my own money, now that someone else will be spending it for me...[rolleyes]

Robert Buckner

More OPM for politicians to spend.

Stephen Murphy

All the while wages remain stagnant.

Andy Aycoth

Hate all taxes, they tack away from what made America Great !

Miss Priss

Wow at this rate mark Henry and commissioners might be able to continue their measly tax cuts.

Mick Phalen

Hi truthserum,

I'm still waiting for the County to return the "Ike tax increase" to pay for indigent care that never materialized. It was 5 cents, IIRC.

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