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Your Money and the Taxing Facts

Thousands of cities, counties, special purpose districts, school districts and transit authorities in Texas levy property tax or sales tax. Revenues from these taxes are used to fund law enforcement, fire departments, hospitals, schools, libraries, parks, roads, utilities, economic development and many other locally operated public services.

To help Texans get a closer look at the local taxing entities in their area, and the revenues collected by them, the Comptroller’s office has expanded its Texas Transparency website to include a new section on local taxation. This new Web resource includes interactive maps that provide a close-up view of the entities that assess property tax and collect sales tax revenues in each Texas county.

Types of Local Taxing Entities

Cities — Incorporated cities in Texas, including towns and villages, may impose a property tax and a sales and use tax.

Counties — Texas counties may impose a property tax. To impose a sales and use tax, the county property tax rate must be reduced.

School Districts — Every public school district in Texas levies a property tax on taxable property within its boundaries to generate the locally funded portion of its operating revenue and debt service.

Transit Authorities — Transit authorities in Texas may impose a sales and use tax. Transit authorities include jurisdictions such as metropolitan transit authorities, city transit departments, county transit authorities and advanced transportation districts.

Special Purpose Districts — Special purpose districts are taxing entities created to generate revenue for specific reasons, including utilities, crime control, emergency services or libraries. Depending on the purpose, these districts may impose a property tax and/or a sales and use tax. (There are additional user fee-funded special purpose districts with no taxing authority that are not included in this tool.)

A comprehensive explanation of special purpose districts, including tables showing establishing authority, allowable purposes and financing mechanism, was published by the Texas Senate Research Center in 2008. Download a PDF of the 48-page Invisible Government: Special Purpose Districts in Texas from the Senate Research Center Website.

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