If you haven’t seen your 2021 property value yet, you should probably sit down. (Look it up at www.galvestoncad.org). After you finish cursing and throwing things, come back and finish reading.
Remember, there are two parts to the equation — property value and tax rate.
Property value: The Galveston Central Appraisal District has the job of correctly assessing property values. Whatever you think about past values, 2021 represents a paradigm shift. The increases are jaw-dropping. It’s up to you to work with the appraisal district to arrive at an appropriate value for your property. I encourage every property owner to make your case in earnest. It’s a big deal.
Tax rate: The other part is the tax rate charged by the various public entities. Your bill shows the entities taxing your property. You absolutely have a say in the tax rates. The elected officials are just like you and me (commissioners, council members, school board, etc.). They don’t want to hurt property owners, but they also have agendas sitting in front of them. You must tell them what’s important and where to draw the line.
Communicating with them is just as important, if not more so, than trotting down to the appraisal district to debate your property value. Please, today, pick up the phone or email them and let them know your thoughts on the tax rates. Your list should include the state legislature (re: school tax regulations). Ask them what they intend to do.
With that said, unless your elected officials act, the increase in tax bills is poised to be nothing short of historic. This could represent an existential threat to many big and small businesses, rental owners, tenants, as well as homeowners. This is a serious threat to our community.
As a commissioner for the Galveston Navigation District No. 1, I represent one of the taxing entities that appears on many of your tax bills. If your property is subject to our tax, the commissioners want you to know we have your back. Once the property valuations are settled, we intend to adjust our tax rate to be essentially revenue neutral as compared to 2020.
I cannot promise that our taxes will never go up — that’s not reality. Public or private, we all have wants and needs. However, it would be inappropriate to allow such extraordinary changes in property values to instantly skyrocket the tax bills. The answer cannot be more, more, more. For our part, the navigation district commissioners will not allow it.
Finally, I call on the other taxing entities to come out and publicly respond in a similar manner ASAP. Let everyone know what you intend to do.