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It’s that time of year again where Texas homeowners grimace at their tax bills. But here’s some consolation – did you know the Lone Star State doesn’t have the highest property tax rate in the U.S.? Personal finance website WalletHub’s 2023 report says there are five states paying higher property taxes than Texas.

In the report, Hawaii comes in first place with the lowest property tax rate out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia – 0.29 percent. With a median home value of $662,100, that means the average Hawaiian is paying $1,893 in annual property taxes.

Toward the bottom of the list (meaning states with the highest property tax rates), Texas sits at No. 46. The median home value in Texas is $202,600 with a property tax rate of 1.74 percent, which means the average Texan pays $3,520 in property taxes.

States paying higher property taxes than Texas are Vermont at 1.90 percent, New Hampshire with 2.09 percent, Connecticut at 2.15 percent, and Illinois with a 2.23 percent tax rate. Coming in at No. 51 with the most expensive property tax rate on the list is New Jersey, sitting at 2.47 percent. At that rate, New Jersey homeowners pay $6,057 on a median home valued at $355,700.

Dr. Alex Combs, assistant professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at the University of Georgia, says people should consider how much they could pay in property taxes when making the decision to move.

"After all, people are sensitive to price, and the property tax is a visible cost of homeownership that funds generally desirable government services like education and public safety," he explains. "If they have the opportunity, people are going to seek the biggest benefit for their property tax buck."

The 10 states that pay the lowest real estate property taxes are:

  • No. 1: Hawaii – 0.29 percent
  • No. 2: Alabama – 0.41 percent
  • No. 3: Colorado – 0.51 percent
  • No. 4: Nevada – 0.55 percent
  • No. 5: South Carolina and Louisiana (Tied) – 0.56 percent
  • No. 7: District of Columbia – 0.57 percent
  • No. 8: Utah and Delaware (Tied) – 0.58 percent
  • No. 10: West Virginia – 0.59 percent

While Texas homeowners will feel the sting of their property taxes, at least they can find some comfort in not having to worry about vehicle property taxes. Texas vehicle owners do have to pay a 6.25 percent tax rate on the purchase price of a car with their local tax assessor-collector, but they do not have to pay annual vehicle property taxes.

Plus, it’s not just Texas – WalletHub determined 23 other states and Washington, D.C., also do not have vehicle property tax rates. Louisiana has the lowest rate out of the remaining states who do pay vehicle property taxes, at 0.10 percent. The state with the highest vehicle property tax rate is Virginia, at 3.96 percent.

The full report and its methodology can be found on WalletHub’s website.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Houston's red-hot restaurateur Ben Berg dishes on his 9 hotly anticipated new concepts

What's Eric Eating Episode 284

On this week’s episode of “What’s Eric Eating,” Berg Hospitality Group founder Ben Berg joins CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss his growing company. Currently, Berg operates eight Houston-area bars and restaurants, but that number will double by the end of 2023.



With that in mind, Sandler and Berg go through all of them with the restaurateur describing each concept and providing an updated timeline for each. They are:

  • Annabelle’s, an French-inspired brasserie
  • Benny Chows, a Cantonese-inspired Chinese American restaurant
  • Buttermilk Baby, a retro-styled soda fountain
  • Canopy Social, a rooftop bar
  • Dune Road, a New England seafood restaurant
  • La Table, a fine dining French restaurant
  • Prime 131, a live fire steakhouse
  • Tavola, a Roman-style Italian restaurant
  • Turner’s Cut, a luxurious steakhouse

Sandler asks Berg what the company is doing to prepare itself for all this growth.

We’ve invested a lot in people. We’ve brought in a lot of hires who have a lot more experience than I do, or, at least, some of them have years more experience. It’s kind of exciting,” he says.

“In the past two years, we’ve created the Berg Hospitality mission, our values. We’re in this position now, three years ago we had 13 or 14 group employees. Right now, we have 32. It’s merging these personalities, getting the strategy correct, and creating an infrastructure to support the stores.”

Listen to the full interview to hear Berg discuss the other styles of restaurant he’d like to do one day. He also shares the one Houston restaurant he’s been visiting regularly.

Prior to the interview, Sandler and co-host Linda Salinas discuss the news of the week. Their topics include: new owners acquiring Weights + Measures, New York City-based coffee shop and cafe Citizens’ plans to open in Montrose; and Bobby Heugel adding daytime coffee service to Refuge.

In the restaurant of the week segment, Salinas and Sandler share first impressions of Ojo de Agua, the Mexico City-based all-day cafe that just opened in River Oaks District.

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Subscribe to "What's Eric Eating" on Apple podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify. Listen to it Saturdays at 2 pm on ESPN 97.5.

Houston named 4th most populous city in U.S. — with the greatest housing growth — in new Census report

welcome, newstonians

Well, this explains rush hour.

Houston is the fourth most populous U.S. city, and saw the ninth largest numeric population gain of any U.S. city in 2022, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's latest findings.

From July 2021 to July 2022, Houston added 11,223 new residents, bringing its total population to 2,302,878. By comparison, San Antonio (population just under 1.5 million) is the seventh largest.

Harris County also led the way with the highest numeric gains for housing units in the nation, at 32,694, coinciding with recent reports deeming Houston the most active real estate market within the last decade.

Together, Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land ranked No. 5 in the list of the 10 most populous U.S. metro areas (as opposed to the cities, themselves). Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington ranked one place higher at No. 4.

Texas cities and towns dominated every list in the new Census Bureau report. "Texas was the only state that had more than three cities on both the 15 fastest-growing large cities and towns by numeric change and by percent change lists," the report says.

Fastest-growing cities
Six out of the 15 fastest-growing cities in the United States are in Texas, and with one Houston suburb – Conroe – landing at No. 11. Conroe had an 6.3 percent population increase from July 2021 to July 2022, bringing the city's total population just over 101,400.

The north Austin suburb of Georgetown had the highest growth rate in the nation, at 14.4 percent, bringing the city's total population to more than 86,500 residents. Surrounding Austin suburbs Kyle and Leander landed in No. 3 and No. 4 with the same population growth rate of 10.9 percent.

The not-so-little Dallas suburb Little Elm zoomed all the way up to No. 5 with an 8 percent population increase, bringing the city's total population to more than 55,300 residents. New Braunfels, which is outside San Antonio, came in at No. 13.

The top 15 fastest-growing large cities in the U.S. are:

  • No. 1 – Georgetown, Texas
  • No. 2 – Santa Cruz, California
  • No. 3 – Kyle, Texas
  • No. 4 – Leander, Texas
  • No. 5 – Little Elm, Texas
  • No. 6 – Westfield, Indiana
  • No. 7 – Queen Creek, Arizona
  • No. 8 – North Port, Florida
  • No. 9 – Cape Coral, Florida
  • No. 10 – Port St. Lucie, Florida
  • No. 11 – Conroe, Texas
  • No. 12 – Maricopa, Arizona
  • No. 13 – New Braunfels, Texas
  • No. 14 – Lehi, Utah
  • No. 15 – Medford, Massachusetts
Largest population increases
When it comes to most populous cities overall, Texas takes five of the 15 top spots with Houston claiming No. 1 in the state. After Houston's No. 4 national rank with its population of over 2.3 million, San Antonio earned No. 7 with over 1.47 million residents, and Dallas at No. 9 with just under 1.3 million residents. Austin barely made it into the top 10 with over 974,000 residents, and Fort Worth ranked No. 13.

The top 15 most populous American cities are:

  • No. 1 – New York City
  • No. 2 – Los Angeles
  • No. 3 – Chicago
  • No. 4 – Houston
  • No. 5 – Phoenix
  • No. 6 – Philadelphia
  • No. 7 – San Antonio, Texas
  • No. 8 – San Diego, California
  • No. 9 – Dallas
  • No. 10 – Austin, Texas
  • No. 11 - Jacksonville, Florida
  • No. 12 - San Jose, California
  • No. 13 - Fort Worth, Texas
  • No. 14 - Columbus, Ohio
  • No. 15 - Charlotte, North Carolina

Greatest housing growth
The report also discovered that housing inventory skyrocketed by 1.6 million units between 2021 and 2022. Texas had the third fastest housing growth with a rate of 2.3 percent, versus Utah, which had the fastest growth at 3.3 percent.

In addition to Harris County, the only other Texas county that made the top five for the highest housing growth was Travis (No. 3).

The full report can be found on census.gov.

It only takes 3 steps to get medical cannabis in Texas

Easy As 1, 2, 3

As the Texas Legislature convenes for its 88th session, many patients, physicians, and advocates are pushing for expansions to the Compassionate Use Program, the state’s medical cannabis program.

Since 2015, the program has expanded twice, allowing for more than 150 conditions to qualify for medical cannabis.

For thousands of patients in the state, medical cannabis provides a safe alternative to opioid medications and effective relief for symptoms like pain, insomnia, anxiety, nausea, muscle spasms, and more.

Texas Original, the state’s leading medical cannabis provider, makes the process of getting a prescription easy. Receiving a medical cannabis prescription starts with a few simple steps:

Step 1: Find out if you qualify
The first step is to find out if you qualify by scheduling an appointment with a doctor registered in the Compassionate Use Program.

Several registered doctors offer convenient virtual appointments through telemedicine practices so patients can meet with the doctor from anywhere in Texas.

To set your appointment, visit Texas Original’s website and fill out the form. Veterans, first responders, teachers, and medical professionals are eligible to receive a free first appointment for a six-month prescription. If you belong to one of these eligible groups, simply check the box on the form.

Step 2: Talk to a doctor
During your appointment, the doctor will review your medical records and confirm if you are eligible for medical cannabis, then discuss your treatment plan.

Once approved, your doctor will add your prescription to the online medical cannabis registry, where it can be accessed by licensed dispensaries.

Step 3: Receive a prescription
After your appointment, call 512-614-0343 to place your first order. Texas Original offers the state’s leading medical-grade cannabis products, including Texas’ first fast-acting medical cannabis gummies.

All products undergo rigorous testing and the results are published publicly on Texas Original’s website for patients to access anytime.

The dispensary team will help you select your products, then schedule you for a pickup at a location nearest to you or arrange home delivery.

Medical cannabis provides Texans an all-natural option that may help alleviate symptoms like pain, insomnia, and anxiety that are commonly associated with approved medical conditions.

If you or a loved one are ready to start your journey with medical cannabis, reach out to Texas Original to get started. Plus, enjoy a 20 percent discount on your first order at Texas Original.