Best Answer: Property taxes in TX are staggeringly high. In the San Antonio area there are 3 county appraisal districts (Bexar, Comal, and Guadalupe) along with the various cities and upwards of a dozen school districts. Which districts will get their hooks into you will depend upon where you live. To confuse things even more, some cities straddle multiple school and appraisal districts, resulting in significant differences in property taxes across the street or even next door. One of the craziest is Universal City. If your property is in the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City Independent School District, your property records will be managed by Guadalupe County although you'll pay county tax to Bexar County.
For planning purposes, figure property taxes at 4% to 5% of the purchase price of your home. Pay no attention to what the current owner claims to be paying. Contact the appropriate appraisal district and ask for the rates for the specific property that you are considering and apply that rate to the purchase price. Texas law requires that property taxes be based upon fair market value and the best indicator of fair market value is what a property actually sells for in an arms-length transaction.
I used to live in the San Antonio area and owned some rental properties there as well until a few years ago. Just as a for instance, a property that I sold in 2006 cost me about $2,800 a year in property
taxes. When I sold it for $106,000 the buyers were shocked to get their tax bill the following year when it came in at just under $4,600. This upended their budget so badly that they eventually lost the house.
TX likes to brag about not having an income tax, but I'm paying a lot less in total taxes living in MO (with an income tax) compared to what I'd be paying in property taxes alone in most of TX.
AZ tends to be similar. There is an income tax in AZ and that results in significantly lower property taxes in most of the state, possibly aside from some fancy areas such as Scottsdale. The sales tax in AZ is lower than in TX as well.
My point is that you should carefully research ALL of your costs before making your choice. Taxes are part of the equation but there are other considerations as well. For me, even though total taxes in San Antonio might be somewhat higher, being on the dividing line between the Coastal Plains and the Texas Hill Country with their extremely diverse flora and fauna, not to mention less than 3 hours from the Gulf Coast (BP notwithstanding. ) and summertime temps that while high are much lower than Tucson, I'd probably opt for San Antonio if those were my only choices. On the other hand, if my Texas choices were Abilene or Midland/Odessa, I'd probably choose Tucson.