Homeowners Confused and Frustrated at Property Tax Bills

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As Texas homeowners receive their property tax bills this month, most will find they've gone up instead of down.

What was supposed to be one of Governor Rick Perry's greatest campaign assets may have turned into one of his worst liabilities.

Perry claims in a now-pulled ad that the last special session of the Legislature would mean the "average homeowner will receive a two-thousand dollar tax cut."

Independent gubernatorial candidate Carole Keeton says -- quote -- "Don't go running to your mailbox because it's not going to be there. At best it's 50 dollars but most people are seeing an increase."

Perry's campaign contends that while some homeowners see an overall tax hike, property tax bills would have been even higher had the school rates not been reduced.

The landmark tax overhaul approved by the Legislature earlier this year is meant to reduce school property taxes by about a third over the next two years. But this year, complicating factors like increased property value, higher city and county taxes and bonds for school building construction will eat away the reduction in school maintenance and operation tax rates, leaving most homeowners with an overall tax hike.

Still, without the new tax legislation, those factors would have left homeowners with an even higher bill.