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No personal taxes in 7 states

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  • 23-12-2020 6:38pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 744 ✭✭✭


    I have just read an article about tech companies that have moved some of their business from Silicon Valley to Texas.
    It mentioned that Texas is one of 7 states where they don't pay personal taxes.

    Do they meant income tax? Why don't they pay it?
    Where does the money come from to run things?


«1

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,324 ✭✭✭JustAThought


    different personal tax rates in different states across america. Perhaps unlike here they don’t all tax effort, ambition and endeavour into the ground while rewarding those who will not work with free houses for life and cash handouts on the back of the hardworking poor.

    Perhaps they actually use the income from taxes such as road tax, water taxes etc to actually upkeep and provide these services - as well as taxes from other sources such as oil (Texas!!), heavy industry etc. Unlike here - where all the burden is on the worker and corporations pay a pittance which they can then mostly write off against other costs in their end of year accounting.

    Radical concept isnt it - keeping most of the money you work for and earn.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,745 ✭✭✭Irish Praetorian


    A quick google found me this which I think is quite informative; https://ballotpedia.org/Texas_state_budget_and_finances

    The thrust of it seems to be that while most states would get one third of their funding from Income Taxes and about half from sales taxes, Texas instead depends about 90% on sales taxes. I suspect any shortfall is made up by adopting a 'low tax low services' philosophy of government.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,208 ✭✭✭LuasSimon


    Do these seven states have many Larry Goodman -JP McManus types who dont pay any tax in the state they live in and route it through some foreign country like Luxembourg or Switzerland ??


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,242 ✭✭✭✭Dodge


    A quick google found me this which I think is quite informative; https://ballotpedia.org/Texas_state_budget_and_finances

    The thrust of it seems to be that while most states would get one third of their funding from Income Taxes and about half from sales taxes, Texas instead depends about 90% on sales taxes. I suspect any shortfall is made up by adopting a 'low tax low services' philosophy of government.

    The 2017 example in this wiki kinda explains it. Property tax is the big one for states http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_income_tax#Basic_principles

    Don’t forget federal tax still applies to income


  • Registered Users Posts: 744 ✭✭✭Kewreeuss


    Sales tax is like Vat?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,645 ✭✭✭krissovo


    Kewreeuss wrote: »

    Do they meant income tax? Why don't they pay it?
    Where does the money come from to run things?

    In America you pay state tax (up to 11%) and federal tax (up to 40%), in Texas and a few other states like Washington there is no state income tax but typically they have high property tax compared to States who do charge income tax or you are taxed higher for things like sales tax.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,645 ✭✭✭krissovo


    Kewreeuss wrote: »
    Sales tax is like Vat?

    Yes, In the states the price you see on the sticker is not what you typically pay. Sales tax is applied at the till so if the price label says 10$ and tax is 10% then you pay 11$. The sales tax can change from zip code to zip code as income goes to the city or district and they set the rates.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,057 ✭✭✭OhHiMark


    different personal tax rates in different states across america. Perhaps unlike here they don’t all tax effort, ambition and endeavour into the ground while rewarding those who will not work with free houses for life and cash handouts on the back of the hardworking poor.

    Perhaps they actually use the income from taxes such as road tax, water taxes etc to actually upkeep and provide these services - as well as taxes from other sources such as oil (Texas!!), heavy industry etc. Unlike here - where all the burden is on the worker and corporations pay a pittance which they can then mostly write off against other costs in their end of year accounting.

    Radical concept isnt it - keeping most of the money you work for and earn.

    I think we can all agree that it would be for the best if we just shot anyone without a job.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 16,288 Mod ✭✭✭✭Manic Moran


    I joined the California-to-Texas exodus about two years ago, and the lack of state income tax was, indeed, a factor for us as a dual-income family. Copy/pasting from the Biden/Harris thread

    listermint wrote: »
    With no income tax how are they getting funding for things like fixing roads or military spend?

    I know its wealthy state for various reasons not withstanding oil. but in terms of constant fixed spend surely income tax is needed

    The Texas point of view, as I have had it explained to me, is that it does not want to penalise anyone for working by taxing them for making their living. But if you're going to own a piece of the State, then you have a vested interest and stake, so you're going to pay property tax. As a result, property taxes here are quite high compared to a high income tax state like California. On the other hand, it also means that my household tax bill is very steady, regardless of if I have a good year or if my wife works or not, and the revenues are pretty steady from my household, if I'm unemployed or not. So for example, last year, my tax bill wasn't too much off what I paid in California, I was the sole earner. On the other hand, this year, with my wife working, our tax bill is much less than we would have been paying in California.

    The other important thing is that the US is quite decentralised. Not only does the State collect taxes, so do the county and city (if you're in a city). So, for the sales tax, for example, the State collects a percentage, the county collects a percentage, and the city collects a percentage. On the other hand, I believe all property tax goes to the lowest level at which you live. (City if you're in a city, county if you're unincorporated). Motor Vehicle registration (Your annual car tax) is set at the State level by the DMV, but collected by the county. County roads are maintained by the county out of its budget. City roads are maintained by the city out of its budget. Ditto police services, State, County or City. And so on.

    The military's a bit unusual. The Texas State Guard and all its equipment and property is purely paid for out of the State budget. The Texas National Guard and its equipment is mainly paid out of Federal funds as a reserve of the Army, unless the Governor calls it out without federal approval, in which case it is paid for by State funds. (Disasters, riot control, etc, mainly).

    So, here's where the money in my area comes from. I'm in the city.

    State:
    jClCJM0.png
    County
    MzEcMBG.png
    City
    bxRwACu.png

    Hope that helps. Oh, CPS is the city version of ESB, it does both electricity and gas. It's owned by the city, its customers don't have to be city residents, it covers a large multi-county area.


  • Registered Users Posts: 744 ✭✭✭Kewreeuss


    Thank you.
    That was very informative.
    It's a whole different concept of taxation from the way we do it here.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,573 ✭✭✭WhiteMemento9


    Pretty sure the fact they have a very valuable natural resource in oil which is taxed heavily at some level plays a massive role?


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 16,288 Mod ✭✭✭✭Manic Moran


    Pretty sure the fact they have a very valuable natural resource in oil which is taxed heavily at some level plays a massive role?

    6.1% of income at the State level for production. Like most other commodities and states, there is a tax at the point of sale as well, for gasoline (Petrol), it's 20cents/gallon.

    It is worth noting also that some items are not subject to sales tax at all. In Texas, that list includes groceries, medicines or medical services, or transportation services. There is a lower rate on clothes. In other states other things are not taxed, such as Oregon with no tax on electronics, or New Jersey has no tax on clothes.

    And for the record, Alaska, Montana, New Hampshire and Delaware do not do sales tax on anything.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,573 ✭✭✭WhiteMemento9


    6.1% of income at the State level for production. Like most other commodities and states, there is a tax at the point of sale as well, for gasoline (Petrol), it's 20cents/gallon.

    Thanks, I only read your post after I had made mine. That is interesting I would have presumed it was far more in terms of funding the state. I guess tourism is massive as well which means the sales tax has the added advantage of pulling huge slices of that revenue from people outside the area.

    I had read a while back that they do also strive to keep business somewhat local. I think it was described as trying to keep man and pop shops alive at the expense of not over-corporatizing the local shopping, food, beverage, etc industries? Is that true?


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,331 ✭✭✭✭lawred2


    Dodge wrote: »
    The 2017 example in this wiki kinda explains it. Property tax is the big one for states http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_income_tax#Basic_principles

    Don’t forget federal tax still applies to income

    But property tax is for socialists I thought..


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,745 ✭✭✭Irish Praetorian


    6.1% of income at the State level for production. Like most other commodities and states, there is a tax at the point of sale as well, for gasoline (Petrol), it's 20cents/gallon.

    It is worth noting also that some items are not subject to sales tax at all. In Texas, that list includes groceries, medicines or medical services, or transportation services. There is a lower rate on clothes. In other states other things are not taxed, such as Oregon with no tax on electronics, or New Jersey has no tax on clothes.

    And for the record, Alaska, Montana, New Hampshire and Delaware do not do sales tax on anything.


    Going a little bit further on this, California vs Texas, how did you find the difference (if any) between state services? The way you describe it, with a lot of services held at different levels (federal, state, local), I would expect things at the highest and lowest levels to be the same, but at the state level is there much difference?


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 16,288 Mod ✭✭✭✭Manic Moran


    I haven't had need of many. About the only one I've been to in both is the DMV, which was far and away more user-friendly in Texas, and voting, which was about equal. The roads are also a lot better here in terms of surface quality. However, thus far, I've generally not asked the local government for much, and they've generally left me alone. Anything else, be it 'free parking at the airport because of military record' or 'system for challenging the property tax assessment' or 'registration of firearms' are unique to the vagaries of each state's or local government control and policies and thus not directly comparable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,365 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    Going a little bit further on this, California vs Texas, how did you find the difference (if any) between state services? The way you describe it, with a lot of services held at different levels (federal, state, local), I would expect things at the highest and lowest levels to be the same, but at the state level is there much difference?
    There can be, yeah. One of the big services that is provided and funded by the states is education, and there is wide variation between states in how much teachers are paid, what class sizes are, etc and, as a result, in education outcomes. Similarly policing, which is locally funded, can vary widely in quality and efficiency.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,365 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    The delinquent property tax caught my eye, that would help in Ireland
    Delinquent property tax isn't a tax on abandoned, undeveloped or substandard properties; it's "ordinary" property tax which has fallen into arrears , plus interest and penalties that have accrued as a result. We already have this in Ireland; we just don't use the term "delinquent tax".


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,872 ✭✭✭✭listermint


    I haven't had need of many. About the only one I've been to in both is the DMV, which was far and away more user-friendly in Texas, and voting, which was about equal. The roads are also a lot better here in terms of surface quality. However, thus far, I've generally not asked the local government for much, and they've generally left me alone. Anything else, be it 'free parking at the airport because of military record' or 'system for challenging the property tax assessment' or 'registration of firearms' are unique to the vagaries of each state's or local government control and policies and thus not directly comparable.

    I do enjoy the notion though that someone hasn't asked the state for anything whilst using all the services of the state that the visually don't see as being paid for by them. It's a very American thing to actually believe you are standing in your own two feet whilst sitting at a traffic light maintained by government funds .

    It's a consistent theme with any Americans I've met. Specifically Texans theyre a special bunch for this stuff. And extremely greatest country in earth.... Whilst driving by thousands in tents on the side of the street in Austin a growing problem.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,745 ✭✭✭Irish Praetorian


    listermint wrote: »
    I do enjoy the notion though that someone hasn't asked the state for anything whilst using all the services of the state that the visually don't see as being paid for by them. It's a very American thing to actually believe you are standing in your own two feet whilst sitting at a traffic light maintained by government funds .

    It's a consistent theme with any Americans I've met. Specifically Texans theyre a special bunch for this stuff. And extremely greatest country in earth.... Whilst driving by thousands in tents on the side of the street in Austin a growing problem.

    There might be something to what both of you are saying, but I'd like to tease it out a bit more clearly. For one, it occurs to me that a lot of state services are things which one can potentially opt out of with sufficient money - private health insurance, private education, even something simple like purchasing ones own property rather than renting. Conversely, a lot of the complaints we would have about the US would tend not to be as significant to the Irish emigre class, which has traditionally done quite well in the US (and if any smart-alec wants to come at me for that last remark with tales of coffin ships and famine, go ahead, make my day, I'm waiting for you).

    I'd also be a little hesitate to rush into the homelessness debate with tales of shanty towns in Austin. I would wager quite strongly you have far more homeless in San Jose than in San Antonio, and whilst I started this post expecting to make an argument about California serving as a host for the homeless population of other states, the data does not bear out that assumption. Even as a fairly convinced liberal, I think one has to concede the red states might be doing something right about homeless, be it a 'low regulation low housing price' economic policy, or perhaps a tighter social bond against homelessness; heck perhaps they simply lock more people up. Whatever it is, I won't speculate too much when we have someone on the ground here, but I would at least state that we might not want to rush to judgement in this case.


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 16,288 Mod ✭✭✭✭Manic Moran


    listermint wrote: »
    I do enjoy the notion though that someone hasn't asked the state for anything whilst using all the services of the state that the visually don't see as being paid for by them. It's a very American thing to actually believe you are standing in your own two feet whilst sitting at a traffic light maintained by government funds .

    You really want me to compare the levels of traffic light reliability that I have observed between the States or how often the grass is cut in the local park? They generally all work, and are generally all a good length. It's a first-world country. The water comes out of the tap, the light turns on when I flick the switch. I can't even reasonably compare the amount of police coverage I see as different regions have different needs. I can tell you that the ambulance/fire response time is faster for me here in Texas, though it may also be because I bought my house here about a mile from each of two firehouses, and the one in California I bought wasn't quite so close to one. That's hardly a fair basis of comparison of State service. You may as well ask me to compare the quality of the rain. It's wet in both places. Texas drivers seem to handle it better (It rains more here).

    The vast majority of the 'passive' services are identical in effect around the US. The differences come into play when we get to 'demand' services. I have not had to file unemployment in Texas. I have not had cause to require the services of a court-appointed attorney in either State. I have not had police interaction greater than a speeding ticket in either state, all such were professional. My son here has not reached the age of education unlike my California daughter (with the ex) so I can't compare those systems. I have not had any need of homeless assistance, disaster relief. I had my first ambulance ride in Texas, so I can't tell you how I found it in California. I have not been able to witness the difference between the COVID response on the ground in CA vs TX. I can tell you where my local Texas testing center (about two miles) is and how long the queue is (4 cars, as of 7pm yesterday when I drove past) but I can't compare my observations with California as I haven't been there since COVID started.

    The question asked how I found the difference in service. That requires that I have a remarkable point of experience for both. I am not going to list off every government-provided service which are unremarkable in either location.

    San Antonio seems to be doing OK in the homelessness department. This news article is from the Seattle area.
    https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/homeless/san-antonios-homeless-solution-used-as-national-model/281-197477103
    SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- As Western Washington wrestles with how to help the area’s homeless population, one Texas city serves as a model for other cities around the country.

    About 250 cities have come to visit Haven for Hope in San Antonio, Texas.

    It’s a “one-stop shop” campus that’s dedicated to helping Bexar County’s homeless.


    Or maybe Louisiana
    https://www.nola.com/news/politics/article_044b16bc-19f3-5f59-9ca4-cff47b3346f7.html

    I will say that visually, there is absolutely no comparison between what I've seen in S.A. or Austin and SF or Oakland/Berkeley as of a year ago.


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,872 ✭✭✭✭listermint


    Libertarian nonsense is all it is.

    Your the same man that benefited from a free ride in Ireland health education passport connections the world over.

    And at the same time I'm in no doubt gives out about anyone getting such services available to them in the US.


    Taxes are for a reason they aren't there to punish you. And as I said many times without taxes and realistic heavy ones your salary wouldn't be paid and your job wouldn't exist.

    If Ireland created the type of me fein boot straps crap that goes on in the US you and many like you probably wouldn't even have been able to emigrate in the first place. Under educated passport limited etc etc etc.


    Everyone in this thread comes from a ridiculously privileged position but I'm in no doubt you don't ever see it that way.


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,872 ✭✭✭✭listermint


    You really want me to compare the levels of traffic light reliability that I have observed between the States or how often the grass is cut in the local park? They generally all work, and are generally all a good length. It's a first-world country. The water comes out of the tap, the light turns on when I flick the switch. I can't even reasonably compare the amount of police coverage I see as different regions have different needs. I can tell you that the ambulance/fire response time is faster for me here in Texas, though it may also be because I bought my house here about a mile from each of two firehouses, and the one in California I bought wasn't quite so close to one. That's hardly a fair basis of comparison of State service. You may as well ask me to compare the quality of the rain. It's wet in both places. Texas drivers seem to handle it better (It rains more here).

    The vast majority of the 'passive' services are identical in effect around the US. The differences come into play when we get to 'demand' services. I have not had to file unemployment in Texas. I have not had cause to require the services of a court-appointed attorney in either State. I have not had police interaction greater than a speeding ticket in either state, all such were professional. My son here has not reached the age of education unlike my California daughter (with the ex) so I can't compare those systems. I have not had any need of homeless assistance, disaster relief. I had my first ambulance ride in Texas, so I can't tell you how I found it in California. I have not been able to witness the difference between the COVID response on the ground in CA vs TX. I can tell you where my local Texas testing center (about two miles) is and how long the queue is (4 cars, as of 7pm yesterday when I drove past) but I can't compare my observations with California as I haven't been there since COVID started.

    The question asked how I found the difference in service. That requires that I have a remarkable point of experience for both. I am not going to list off every government-provided service which are unremarkable in either location.

    San Antonio seems to be doing OK in the homelessness department. This news article is from the Seattle area.
    https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/homeless/san-antonios-homeless-solution-used-as-national-model/281-197477103
    SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- As Western Washington wrestles with how to help the area’s homeless population, one Texas city serves as a model for other cities around the country.

    About 250 cities have come to visit Haven for Hope in San Antonio, Texas.

    It’s a “one-stop shop” campus that’s dedicated to helping Bexar County’s homeless.


    Or maybe Louisiana
    https://www.nola.com/news/politics/article_044b16bc-19f3-5f59-9ca4-cff47b3346f7.html

    I will say that visually, there is absolutely no comparison between what I've seen in S.A. or Austin and SF or Oakland/Berkeley as of a year ago.

    Oh and 25,000 plus homeless in San Antonio isn't doing alright in the homeless department.

    Bizarre levels of dissonance


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 16,288 Mod ✭✭✭✭Manic Moran


    listermint wrote: »
    Libertarian nonsense is all it is.

    Your the same man that benefited from a free ride in Ireland health education passport connections the world over.

    Total BS. Stop projecting.
    The discussion is on how things are in the US, not how either of us would like them to be, and you will note that when I have commented on the matter in the past, it has been in favour of implementation an Irish-type free education system, and that the US healthcare system also needs dramatic rework. I don't know where you are getting that I think all things are happy and rosy or that I favour a Libertarian approach to such things.
    listermint wrote: »
    Oh and 25,000 plus homeless in San Antonio isn't doing alright in the homeless department.

    Bizarre levels of dissonance

    Odd. This report released seven months ago says under 3,000 in the county, let alone the city. 700 of which are unsheltered.
    https://www.sarahomeless.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/2020-PIT-Report-_5.14.pdf

    Not ideal, but still, compared to Silicon Valley (Santa Clara County) which is almost identical in terms of overall population https://www.sccgov.org/sites/osh/ContinuumofCare/ReportsandPublications/Documents/2015%20Santa%20Clara%20County%20Homeless%20Census%20and%20Survey/2019%20SCC%20Homeless%20Census%20and%20Survey%20Exec%20Summary.pdf
    but has 1,700 homeless in shelter, and 8,000 on the street, I'd say San Antonio's doing pretty well, whatever form of cognitive dissonance you think I'm under.


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,872 ✭✭✭✭listermint


    Total BS. Stop projecting.
    The discussion is on how things are in the US, not how either of us would like them to be, and you will note that when I have commented on the matter in the past, it has been in favour of implementation an Irish-type free education system, and that the US healthcare system also needs dramatic rework. I don't know where you are getting that I think all things are happy and rosy or that I favour a Libertarian approach to such things.



    Odd. This report released seven months ago says under 3,000 in the county, let alone the city. 700 of which are unsheltered.
    https://www.sarahomeless.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/2020-PIT-Report-_5.14.pdf

    Not ideal, but still, compared to Silicon Valley (Santa Clara County) which is almost identical in terms of overall population https://www.sccgov.org/sites/osh/ContinuumofCare/ReportsandPublications/Documents/2015%20Santa%20Clara%20County%20Homeless%20Census%20and%20Survey/2019%20SCC%20Homeless%20Census%20and%20Survey%20Exec%20Summary.pdf
    but has 1,700 homeless in shelter, and 8,000 on the street, I'd say San Antonio's doing pretty well, whatever form of cognitive dissonance you think I'm under.

    Happy Christmas, I take it back.


    Peace to you and yours over the holidays.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 16,288 Mod ✭✭✭✭Manic Moran


    And to you. May us both be able to actually use our passports next year!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,745 ✭✭✭Irish Praetorian


    Well that escalated quickly :) But a photo finish at the end.

    A more mundane question; property taxes in Texas - are they simply a case of 'you own x, its valued at y dollars, pay z%' or are renters expected to make a contribution also? Furthermore, is any consideration or distinction made between a family home for personal use versus say a commercial property, owned and let out to various merchants?

    What I'm curious to see is just how much it would compare with provisions in the Irish system; for example the PRSI setup isn't actually a million miles away from what Social Security is. Another example might be our income tax system, not only do we have two rates we also have some exemptions at the lower levels of income (no USC under 13,000 a year for example) and tax credits which give real benefit at the lower levels. Is Texas similar in this regard or would that be regarded as dangerously socialistic?


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 16,288 Mod ✭✭✭✭Manic Moran


    A more mundane question; property taxes in Texas - are they simply a case of 'you own x, its valued at y dollars, pay z%'

    Correct. It's somewhere just over 2% of the taxable value of the property. Related to, but not the same as, the market value. For example, I'm getting about $50k of solar panels installed, which will increase my market value by a similar amount, but they are not a taxable improvement. Similarly, deductions in taxable value can be applied for various reasons, such as $5,000 if it's your primary home (Homestead, legally termed), $65,000 if you're over 65, 100% (i.e. nothing at all) if you're a 100% disabled veteran or unemployable as a result of service. Given the average home value in San Antonio is $310,000, a typical "pensioner" will see his property tax bill drop by about 22% compared to a younger member of the population.
    or are renters expected to make a contribution also?

    Not directly. One may assume that the landlord will take the property taxes into consideration when setting the rent, but that's up to the landlord and the rental market.
    Furthermore, is any consideration or distinction made between a family home for personal use versus say a commercial property, owned and let out to various merchants?

    Now I'm looking, no, I don't see any difference between commercial and residential property tax rates here in Bexar. Certainly such a distinction is made in California, where they've been trying to rescind Prop 13 for businesses only for the last year or two.
    What I'm curious to see is just how much it would compare with provisions in the Irish system; for example the PRSI setup isn't actually a million miles away from what Social Security is. Another example might be our income tax system, not only do we have two rates we also have some exemptions at the lower levels of income (no USC under 13,000 a year for example) and tax credits which give real benefit at the lower levels. Is Texas similar in this regard or would that be regarded as dangerously socialistic?

    Social security and income tax are both purely federal matters where Texas is concerned. Such graduations do exist for Federal income tax, there are seven income tax brackets varying from 10% for $0-$10,000 or so, to 37% for earnings in excess of $510,000 a year.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,807 ✭✭✭kksaints


    Is there a land tax in Texas or is the tax only on built property?


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 16,288 Mod ✭✭✭✭Manic Moran


    kksaints wrote: »
    Is there a land tax in Texas or is the tax only on built property?

    Not owning any unimproved land, I can only refer to personal research. It seems that all land is taxed to some extent (a few exceptions do apply) , but the rate varies. If you own an unimproved lot downtown you'll be taxed at the normal property tax rate, but if you own a huge patch of rural Texas, you'll likely be under the agricultural or open space categories which are substantially lower in effective tax rate


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