You may not know it, but the Town of Westlake works incredibly hard to save you, the resident, money each year on your local property tax. From the Town Council members to the municipal staff team, everyone involved does their best to keep taxes low while still providing you with the high level of service you expect for our community. And, while we know this is often not the most glamorous of subjects – we believe it is VERY important to provide you with the background. So, how does it work?  
First, let’s start with the no-new-revenue tax rate (NNR). The NNR is the tax rate for each new tax year which raises the same amount of money on the same properties from the year before. If that seems confusing, we understand – it is a legislative term with a legislative definition. The NNR tax rate changes every year and is based on our local property values, which are set by the Tarrant County Appraisal District (TAD). Typically, when property values go up then the no new revenue rate goes down. Staff reviews the specific information for Westlake during our annual budget preparation process and reports the valuations and NNR tax rate to the community during our August and September budget hearings.

The no-new-revenue tax rate also requires certain legal steps and notifications that we must take if it deviates from the no-new-revenue rate. The intent of the NNR statute is to tell you, the taxpayer, the effect the proposed rate has on residents and is supposed to help you better understand how taxes are calculated. Because the tax bill is a function of not just the tax rate, but also the property value to which that rate applies, the no-new-revenue tax rate is intended to give you an apples-to-apples understanding of the change in the tax levy. For example, this year’s NNR is $0.16746, a difference of $0.00042 from the current rate.

Our 2021 Tax Year property tax rate is $.16788 per $100 assessed valuation. That number is the same rate as last year and quite frankly, one of the lowest ad valorem rates in the state. It is also helpful to compare that to our neighbors and other cities similar to Westlake. The graphic below tells the story. Westlake not only is in the lower third in the entire state for taxes but also has the lowest in all of North Texas. In fact, Trophy Club is nearly 3-times higher ($.44644) than your tax rate here in Westlake and we hesitate to look at the rate for Fort Worth ($.73250).

The rate remains low to mirror our conservative (and long-term planning) budget practices. That’s why a low-level tax rate was established and maintained to provide enough revenue to provide the level of services our residents desire.
The effort to keep your taxes low doesn’t stop there. Over the years, we have enacted three local options to help – the homestead exemption, a 65 or older or disabled exemption, and the adoption of a property tax relief option that is indicated on your annual tax statement.

The Homestead exemption removes part of your home's value from taxation, so they lower your overall taxes. For example, if your home is appraised at $100,000, and you qualify for a $20,000 exemption, you will pay taxes on the home as if it was worth only $80,000. In your case, Westlake enacted the exemption at the maximum rate of 20%. 

Those who are 65 and older or disabled may qualify to receive an additional exemption of $10,000. Additionally, those 65 and older or disabled with a Westlake residence homestead can freeze their municipal tax levy in the tax year of qualification for the tax ceiling exemption, or tax freeze, and their municipal ad valorem taxes will remain fixed at that amount. They will not pay more (subject to some limitations) but could potentially pay less if taxes are lowered. We’ve implemented all of these exemptions to give as many residents as possible maximum benefits. All with the goal of saving you money! 

The Town went even further and enacted a property tax relief ordinance where 1/2% of the sales and use taxes Westlake collects goes toward property tax reduction where it helps reduce the amount of property tax you pay. That leads to significant savings for you. You’ll see a line at the bottom of your tax bill outlining your savings from the property tax reduction program. Also, you may be surprised to know that Westlake only receives 6% of your total property tax money. Check out the graphic below. Just 6 cents for every dollar you pay remains in your local community.  
The Town of Westlake finance team has also been recognized multiple times over the years for their exemplary service. Recent finance awards won include:
  • GFOA (Government Finance Officers Association) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
  • GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting
  • ASBO (Association of School Business Officials) Meritorious Budget Award
  • Texas State Comptroller’s Transparency Stars Award

These awards are important because they earn trust among our stakeholders and showcase competency and financial management. Couple that with our AAA bond rating which was just reaffirmed by Standard & Poor’s, and you have elected officials and a staff team dedicated to fiscal stewardship.    

The lowest taxes in North Texas, a conservative approach to spending, maximizing exemptions, and the property tax reduction ordinance, are just a few ways your Town Council and staff are looking out for the bottom line. All of this while still delivering the level of support you need, maintaining a high quality of living in a picturesque community, stellar roads and trails, and providing top-notch emergency services which makes Westlake such a unique place to call home. We are truly, “Distinctive by Design”.

For more information, or to review the budget or tax rate calculations, visit our finance page on our website. 
Stay connected by clicking the buttons below for constant updates about our Town!
1500 Solana Blvd., Bldg. 7, Suite 7200 | Westlake, TX 76262