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From the Sidelines: Property Taxes

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It’s budget time in Double Oak.  That’s the time that we plan our expenses for the next fiscal year which starts in October.  Planning for a town is not that different than planning a budget for a home.  Each year, costs go up some and income might or might not increase.

For Double Oak, property tax revenue this year was less than last year and the trend will continue next year.  The county collects taxes for us and provides good figures for predicting next year’s taxes.  According to the county, the taxable value of the average Double Oak home is $326,728.  Our taxes are calculated by taking the home value divided by 100 times the tax rate. 

For a number of years, Double Oak has kept the tax rate at $0.22481.  That’s roughly 22 ½ cents tax per hundred dollar valuation.  That would mean that the owner of the ‘average’ home according to the county would pay about $735 a year to Double Oak. 

Wait a minute.  We pay lots more taxes than that!  Of course we do. That same average home would pay $906 to the county and almost $5,000 to the school district.

Double Oak has a tradition of being very careful with money.  The town was incorporated vowing no property tax.  22 cents is a lot more than zero but we’re still trying to get the most bang for the buck.  Town Council and Town Staff have done their best this year to keep expenses under control.  Even though we brought in less property tax we’ll be ending the year with some money left over.

Next year our property taxes will be even less than this year.  But the council is against raising taxes if we don’t absolutely have to.  The plan is to use the small surplus from this year to fund some of next year’s expenses.  We actually used the same strategy successfully last year.  If we continue to be very careful with our spending, the hope is to hang on until property values begin to rise again.

The Council won’t actually vote on the final budget until near the end of September.  We’ll probably do some final tweaking at the first meeting in September but the good news is that if your home value has stayed the same, the part of the property tax that goes to Double Oak will likely remain the same.

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