Hi - I'm likely to be moving to San Marcos before the end of the year. I was scouting out property tax info and I think the figures I'm seeing are in the neighborhood of 2.5% per year on property taxes. Is that correct? Does the agency collecting the taxes allow you to make 2 payments or is it more customary to see them rolled into the mortgage payment?
I never owned a home when I grew up in Dallas but I know my Dad said they make up for not having state income tax with high property taxes... and 2.5% is getting up there.
We pay about 2.4% of the taxable value, which is a bit less than market value, once you factor in homestead exemptions and fighting with the county about what they think the value is versus what we want them to think the value is.
Yeah, 2.4% is a lot for what you get. You have to take into consideration the sheer number of renters who pay no tax (university owned property) or reduced tax.
For example, I live in a house valued by the county at $200,000. So, the two of us pay $2400 each for whatever services we get.
Both halves of a duplex on Sagewood are valued at about the same and that tax covers (probably) 4-8 residents. They pay about $600 to $1200 per person for their services.
Meanwhile Hill Country Apartments on LBJ paid about $85,000 in taxes for their 120 units, which probably works out to about 240-360 residents, or $235-350 per person.
Then, as I mentioned before, there are the university-owned units, which I believe are tax-exempt (tax-subsidized, actually).
Of course, not all of the homes in San Marcos are valued at $200,000. There are plenty of lower value homes. A family of four in a $100,000 home pays less than me, but then a family of four in an apartment pays even less than that. When I was in college, there were five of us in a 2-bedroom apartment at Executive Townhomes. The tax burden in that scenario was negligible.
With 60% of the residents living in rental properties, there is a somewhat higher burden on property owners.
Its low enough that I'll just pay into escrow. Here in Orange County, you pay half in mid December and the other half in mid April. that helps when you pay $7800 in property taxes (yikes). I get to give my big tax returns back to another government agency basically. They're only big because of the outrageous amount of interest paid on my mortgage.
The schoool share of the property tax rate will drop again this year.
Second rental and business properties don't get a homestead exemption and are exempt from the 10% cap on annual increase valuation. Most of the cut in schol property taxes for residential property owners is being picked up by smokers and the new business tax which kicks in next year.
Inside the city limits of San Marcos, the current tax rate approaches 2.756%. Moving outside the city limits, you'll see a .5% drop (for city taxes), so the rate is closer to 2.25%. As is already mentioned, taxes are due once per year and they don't care how you get it, as long as they receive it on time. Additionally, most lenders default to an escrow account when discussing your new loan, so that it'll be paid by the lender and not you. However, a great many lenders will allow you to avoid escrow, but usually at an increased interest rate (more risk for them, I suppose).
Here in the corridor, the taxes are fairly similar in most areas except for Comal County, which offers two varieties of exemptions related to homestead, so it's usually a little more affordable. That's why they've been beating the pants off of us with development...well...at least one of the reasons :-)