Property taxes rising in Wichita County

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 7:35 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Property taxes are on the rise in Wichita County. In fact, they have been for a few years and experts expect the trend to continue.

A rise in property taxes is not what anyone necessarily likes to hear, but there are positives to take away from it. These include the rise in value of your home, so when you look to sell you will get more money than what you paid for it. Also, they help improve education for the schools in Wichita County.

The appraisal district is where it begins and if the market value of homes continue to increase, then expect your property taxes to do the same.

“That’s what the market is and that is what we are required by law to appraise them at,” Lisa Stephens-Musick, Chief Appraiser at Wichita County Appraisal District, said. “When these values go over to the taxing jurisdictions, they will determine what their tax rates are and how much a properties taxes will be.”

“The last two years we have had substantial property tax increases and they are brought about by the changes in the market place,” Denny Bishop, Co-owner of Bishop Reality, said.

The average selling price has just gone over $200,000 in Wichita Falls, which is a new landmark. Just five years ago, the average selling price was $112,000.

“Since probably 2016, we have really seen some increases but in the last two years we have really seen that happen,” Stephens-Musick said. “I don’t have a crystal ball and I can’t tell you what is going to happen next year but all the indicators show that it is going to continue to increase.”

“That is very important to a buyer,” Bishop said. “You have principle, interest, taxes and insurance. Taxes are now becoming more and more important because they are rising.”

Although the rise in property taxes sound like nothing but bad news, it is actually a key component on the schools in your area, and the appraisal district gets studied every other year by the state’s comptrollers office on having to hit specific values.

“And if we are not and we do not pass another study that they do on us, then the school district stands to lose some state funding,” Stephens-Musick said. “The education of our children is very important and it is related to your property taxes, and your school taxes are the largest taxes that you pay.”

Experts said this is happening nationwide and not just in Wichita County, so if you are looking to move be prepared to see similar increases in property taxes elsewhere.

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