• September 1, 2014

Appraiser simplifies how property tax is valued

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Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2013 4:30 am

GATESVILLE — Fall is property tax season in Texas, the time when cities, counties and school districts explain their spending plans to taxpayers.

Eighteen taxing entities levy taxes on property in Coryell County. Each entity sets its rate in dollars and cents per $100 of property value.

Mitch Fast, chief appraiser for the Coryell Central Appraisal District, determines the value of the county’s 31,819 properties for the taxing entities.

County Tax Assessor/Collector Justin Carothers sends tax bills for 11 of the taxing entities after they set their rates. Those bills are mailed the first week of October.

Coryell County will adopt its tax rate Sept. 16.

The formula for figuring a tax bill is simple, Carothers said: “Value, minus exemptions, times tax rate.”

Carothers gets his property data from Fast, who calculates 23 different exemptions and such variables as “homestead cap” and “productivity loss” against market value to reach the “freeze-adjusted taxable” bottom line, which is the number used to figure tax bills.

“Homestead cap” means the appraised value of a homestead cannot increase more than 10 percent above the previous year.

THE COVE FACTOR

What is Copperas Cove’s share of county property taxes? That seems like a simple question, but the answer is complex, Fast said.

Cove has more than 42 percent of the county’s population, about 65 percent of the county’s homesite land value, 55 percent of its non-homesite land value and less than 0.5 percent of its agricultural land value, according to 2013 certified totals from the appraisal district.

The total market value of properties on the county tax rolls is more than $3.5 billion.

Cove accounts for more than $1.3 billion of the market value, about 37 percent.

When the market value is adjusted to reflect productivity loss, homestead caps and exemptions, the “freeze-adjusted taxable” property in the county is down to just under $2 billion and Cove’s share is about half.

“Cove has the most people, the most businesses, the most property value,” Carothers said.

For detailed information about the Coryell Central Appraisal District, go to www.coryellcad.org.

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