Guadalupe County proposes decreased tax rate due to increased property values
16 Aug 2023
Dalondo Moultrie The Seguin Gazette
Guadalupe County property owners could see a drop in their property tax rates next year but an increase in their tax bills.
Commissioners Court voted 4-0 Tuesday to record the proposed fiscal year 2023-2024 budget with the county clerk and voted 4-0 to set the proposed tax rate for 2023 tax year at $0.3231 per $100 of valuation.
The proposed tax rate shows a 6.04% decrease from the prior year’s rate of $0.3439. However, property owners will still pay more to the county because property values are increasing, County Judge Kyle Kutscher said.
“It’s confusing because the rate’s lower than it was last year, but because appraisals went up so much, technically it’s a tax increase,” he said.
The average homestead taxable value in 2022 was about $234,372 compared to $286,402 in 2023, Kutscher said. Those numbers represented a tax on an average home at about $806 in 2022 increasing to about $925.36 for 2023, he said.
Not all homeowners will see such a dramatic increase because the state places a 10% cap on the amount of increase on homesteads, Kutscher said.
“When you say the market has gone up that much, that doesn’t mean everybody is going to be paying taxes on that increase,” he said. “A lot of our houses are homesteads and there’s a cap on those each year.”
In 2022, the county’s total taxable value of property was slightly more than $16.3 billion, Kutscher said. That number is expected to increase to $19.5 billion this year, he said.
Increases in salaries is causing a need for additional funding, Kutscher said. In recent years, the county has lagged behind neighboring counties in pay for certain positions and commissioners court is trying to rectify the pay gap to remain competitive, he said.
A public hearing to discuss the proposed tax rate is scheduled for 10 a.m. Sept. 5 at the Guadalupe County Courthouse, 101 E. Court St. in Seguin.
Precinct No. 2 Commissioner Drew Engelke was under the weather and did not attend Tuesday’s meeting.