In a room full of mostly educators, the top two appraisers for Harris County gave their outlook for this year. Since school districts depend on property taxes for funding, you can see why they’d like to know what to expect. Assistant Chief Appraiser Guy Griscom says the housing market is improving, but they’re starting to see more foreclosures of higher priced homes.
"What you’re seeing is you’re seeing the effect of moving more foreclosure properties in a different price range and the effect of that is it starts to affect the overall value in those different segments."
The appraisers predict most Harris county jurisdictions will see a small improvement in their tax base this year with significant improvement not expected until 2013. Some of the positive economic trends they see are the stabilization of oil prices and on shore drilling returning to a robust pace. But overall, growth in the county they say remains flat.
"What does that tell us it tells us that there hasn’t been yet the growth of new parcels coming on, new development coming back up. It didn’t drop again, but it didn’t go up."
Overall, appraisers predict about a 2 percent increase this year in taxable property values for Harris County.