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'Growing pains': North Texas residents seeing higher property tax bills

There's something else growing alongside the population of Texas, which is now the fastest-growing state in the nation.

FORT WORTH, Texas — There's something else growing alongside the population of Texas, which is now the fastest-growing state in the country. 

Some county property tax bills are growing, too, and for some homeowners, it hurts.

"It is part of growing pains," said Chandler Crouch.

Chandler Crouch Realtors is a full-service real estate brokerage specializing in helping people buy and sell homes in North Texas. Like many other realtors, Crouch and his team have been fielding phone calls from homeowners asking what to do. 

Even longtime homeowners in newer subdivisions are experiencing the tax bill pain. 

The property tax bill calculation can be easy to understand, especially if you are taking steps to counteract some of the added tax responsibilities as a homeowner.

Crouch said, "It's the property value multiplied by the tax rate, minus your exemptions equals your tax bill."

County leaders are hearing from homeowners about the higher tax bills, too, despite no tax rate increase. Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley also described the booming housing market in certain parts of Texas as growing pains, especially in the Metroplex.

Whitley said, "The values of homes are going up tremendously. And it's not anything to do with the tax rate that we've you know, that we passed because we won't shut our budget until September."

Crouch said, "This year, I will probably protest for 25 to 28,000 people."

Way before September, Crouch again plans to help homeowners protest their high property tax bills. 

But in the meantime, both Chandler and Judge Whitley say put up a fight now, which includes having your homeowner exemptions in place.

"I would tell them to argue the value to call to and to argue," said Whitley. "Look similar sales around them, look at other things like that and protest those values."

"It's a myth that you can't fight a high property tax bill. Some people are scared that if they do, they will end up on some government naughty taxpayer list or something, and that is just not true," said Crouch. 

"The next step is going to the local tax entity meetings. Go to your school board meetings, your city council meetings, the county commissioners court meeting and just urge them to spend less money," Crouch added.