The city of Celina won’t stay small much longer, with land values skyrocketing as homebuilders transform farmland into the latest in suburban living.
Four subdivisions being built along FM1385 are expected to add 10,000 to 12,000 new residents in the next three years, Mayor Sean Terry said Friday.
The shift on the tax rolls from agricultural to residential there helped send preliminary appraisal values on the Denton County side of the city soaring more than 2,850 percent. Homes are being built at a rapid clip on the city’s Collin County side as well.
“It’s like drinking from a fire hydrant,” Terry said of the town’s efforts to keep up with demand.
Celina is just one example of the continued growth throughout Denton and Collin counties that is reflected in the preliminary appraisals released this month.
Denton County’s preliminary property valuation is more than $106.5 billion, up from over $89.3 billion in certified value last year, according to the Denton County Appraisal District. That’s a change of nearly 20 percent. Almost $3.95 billion of the increase came from new construction.
The market value for homes is driving a lot of the increase in preliminary appraisal values out this month for Collin, Denton and Rockwall counties. This house is for sale on Lakehill Boulevard in Frisco.(Ashley Landis/Staff Photographer)
The market value for homes is driving a lot of the increase in preliminary appraisal values out this month for Collin, Denton and Rockwall counties. This house is for sale on Lakehill Boulevard in Frisco.
(Ashley Landis/Staff Photographer)
In Collin County, taxable value is estimated at $136 billion, up from just under $124 billion in certified value last year, according to the Collin County Appraisal District. That’s an increase of 9.85 percent.
Collin County saw over $5.6 billion in added value from new construction, much of that in Plano, Frisco and McKinney. The rest of the increase came from the higher appraised values for existing properties.
Those higher values are not always welcome news to taxpayers, whose property tax bills are based on appraisals.
Heather Wang, who’s lived in Plano for 12 years, has seen her tax bill rise each year with the increased valuations. “Don’t tax us out of our homes,” she said.
Wang was among the people who raised concerns at a recent Plano town hall meeting that offered a primer on appraisals and property tax rates. Cities and school districts use the preliminary property valuations to help set their budgets and tax rates for the next fiscal year.
“Given that Plano is one of the hottest housing markets in the North Texas area and the requirements that the central appraisal districts are under to appraise at market value, most property owners find themselves with increased appraised property values,” city budget director Karen Rhodes-Whitley told the crowd.
Plano saw an overall 8 percent increase in taxable value this year compared with the previous year. A good portion of that came from new construction. Plano also saw among the greatest gains in value from new construction, with more than $1.43 billion added to the tax rolls.
Preliminary numbers show Frisco recorded a 12.6 percent increase in taxable value, with more than $1.6 billion in value from new construction added in the past year.
McKinney had over $983 million in taxable value from new construction with its preliminary taxable value this year up nearly 10 percent.
Dallas County officials said they expect to have their preliminary numbers broken down by city and school district on or about May 15. Tarrant County officials hope to list theirs by entity about May 1.
Rockwall County’s preliminary numbers show $1.38 billion in property value growth vs. the certified 2017 values — an 11.7 percent increase. A little over half a billion of that is in new assets in the rapidly-growing county east of Lake Ray Hubbard.
The cities of Rockwall and Fate continue to be at the epicenter of the county’s boom. At nearly a quarter-billion in taxable valuation, Rockwall’s 2018 growth is more than two times its 2016 growth. Fate’s growth is up $124 million in the preliminary figures, nearly double its $69 million in 2017 and more than three times what it experienced in 2016.
State lawmakers have been grappling with ways to provide property tax relief, especially on the school district portion, which makes up the majority of property tax bills. So far, there hasn’t been any agreement on a solution.
Gov. Greg Abbott has proposed capping the annual revenue growth of cities, counties, school districts and other taxing entities at 2.5 percent. There are lots of questions about how that proposal might work. It will be discussed when the Legislature meets again next year.
Bo Daffin, chief appraiser for the Collin County Appraisal District, said residents who believe their appraised values are too high have the right to file a protest. The deadline to file protests in Collin County is May 15. In Denton County, the deadline is May 18.
Daffin predicts more taxpayers will lodge protests this year than last year, based on the fact that there are more people in the county.
“When you see values go up, you see protests go up, too,” he said.
Certified taxable values will be calculated once all protests are completed.
Cities often give homestead exemptions to help combat rising appraisals. Several also offer a property tax freeze for residents over age 65.
Richard and Laurie Medina say they haven’t made many updates to the Plano home they’ve lived in for 15 years. They’re thankful that they now qualify for the over-65 tax freeze that protects them from the increase in appraised values.
“I couldn’t put it on the market for what it’s valued at,” Laurie Medina said.
The rapid population growth is also fueling large gains on the tax rolls for smaller cities and towns. Aubrey, west of Celina, saw a nearly 38 percent increase in its preliminary estimate of taxable value this year compared to certified figures last year. Anna, Little Elm, The Colony, Denton, Lewisville, Princeton, Ponder and Sanger also saw increases in property valuation of more than 20 percent.
Staff writer Ray Leszcynski contributed to this report.
Original article at dallasnews.com