Explosive Property Valuations
Our rate of taxation is not unusually high, but the land values to which that rate is applied are high. In a study conducted by the Texas A&M Real Estate Center in 2017, our real estate values were found to be more out of alignment with market demand than any other city in Texas. They referred to this as an “explosive” condition. Something is wrong. One obvious factor is that Stealth Dorms are being allowed by the city to compete for residential land, driving the residential taxes up to commercial rates in some neighborhoods (100-200% increase). This has to be stopped. But the rapid increase in the great majority of neighborhoods reflects the trend across the entire state. Texas has a general problem with the rate of influx of new residents, the shortage of construction labor, and recent increases in materials costs. What causes the situation in College Station to be categorized as explosive is that the income of our residents is not rising to match the rising cost of our real estate. Prices are well above those justified by market demand. The shortage in the housing market is worst in smaller homes, which drives up the values for the portion of the population least able to pay. We support the city’s current proposal to create new zoning to allow higher density housing that is suitable for this market. However, we oppose the creation of small pockets of this zoning within existing neighborhoods where it would be out of character and incompatible.