50% more property taxes!?

Yesterday I received the year-end escrow analysis for the rental property in Austin. They helpfully informed me that the monthly payment was going up 30%. Say what!? Digging deeper into the paperwork it appears that my total property taxes were listed as having gone up a total of 50%. That really didn’t seem right and I suspected a fubar at the mortgage company.

This morning I called the Williamson County Tax office and talked to a very helpful gentleman named Dale. I get the impression he is used to getting irate calls from people wanting to know why their taxes went up and I’m sure a call from me just wanting to validate my 2009 amount was refreshing. He emailed me a PDF of my tax statement. Sure enough, instead of the $4k listed as being owed to the Williamson County tax office, it was $1k.

Looking at the two tax lines on the escrow analysis from my mortgage company it appears that they had the RRISD taxes correct, but had RRISD+Williamson County for the Williamson County taxes. I pictured an absolute nightmare with the mortgage company to get this straightened out.

Instead, after futzing with the call tree I talked to a very helpful woman who appeared happy to take my word at what the county taxes should be. After she re-ran the escrow analysis the payment amount was back in line with what it should have been.

All in all a very simply problem to solve but it made for one really restless night’s sleep as I tried to imagine how property taxes had gone up 50% in an economy where the property values were falling.

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I'm a gay geek living in Seattle, WA.

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