Property taxes are on the rise, and school leaders say it's because state funding for education isn't keeping up with current costs. College Station Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Clark Ealy joined First News at Four to discuss this issue that he says hits close to home. view article arw

Residents of The Woodlands whose homes flooded due to Hurricane Harvey are expected to pay their property taxes in full to Tomball ISD after the board of trustees voted against reappraising damaged homes. Timarron Lakes resident Elias Abraham asked the board to vote in favor of a resolution to reappraise damaged homes. Taxes levied by Tomball ISD range between $2,500 to $5,000. view article arw

Lemm Elementary School remains closed, six months after Harvey sent several inches of water into the building. Klein ISD set a target of the school reopening in time for the 2018-19 school year in August. However, some parents are questioning whether that is possible. view article arw

Texas state senators are touchy, touchy, touchy when it comes time to hand out blame for rising property taxes. They’ve spent a decade hacking away at the state’s share of public education spending, and their current refrain is that the local districts have run amok by raising property tax bills. view article arw

It’s no exaggeration to say that Texans don’t like paying property taxes, as we have some of the highest in the nation. Could we kiss those tax bills goodbye by modestly increasing the sales tax? That’s among the property tax relief options now floating around the Texas Capitol. If it sounds too good to be true — you’re right. Even a cursory look at the numbers shows that swapping property taxes for a higher sales tax is unrealistic. view article arw

The new federal tax plan implements temporary and permanent changes that will affect individuals, businesses, corporations and school districts in Spring and Klein. President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law Dec. 22, overhauling the nation’s tax code for the first time in decades. Many of the reform’s changes took effect immediately, including new federal income tax brackets, a lower corporate tax rate and tax deductions for small businesses. view article arw

A new residential community on the way east of Dallas will bring more than 1,000 new homes.  Longtime Dallas developer Wynne/Jackson plans to build the Overland Grove community in Forney on 336 acres on FM 548 between Interstate 20 and U.S. Highway 80.  The $300 million project will have homes priced from $275,000 to $400,000. view article arw

Moody Independent School District officials are holding talks about a possible tax ratification election that could bring in a competitive increase to teacher salaries, more career and technology education opportunities, improved technology across the district and school buses. view article arw

Rising property taxes are a legitimate political issue, driven by what elected officials and aspiring officeholders hear from their angry constituents. Local governments are on the other side of this, however, hearing from those same voters  about deficiencies in schools and roads, crime protection and whatnot.  Reduced to its essence, the state is arguing about price. The locals are arguing about product. Prices — property taxes are the bane of the moment — are rising too quickly, the state contends, with voters cheering in the background. Those same voters, the local officials argue, are making demands for roads, hospitals, schools, police and other government services. view article arw

Gov. Greg Abbott's proposal to cap property tax revenue at 2.5 percent for school districts, cities and counties has a basic premise: "Provide one simple method by which taxpayers are protected from excessive increases in their tax burden." But the method for funding Texas school districts is anything but simple. Districts go through a multitude of calculations to determine how much money they receive and, in some cases, how much they'll have to pay out. Plano ISD trustees, for example, got an early look at next year's budget numbers on the same day  Abbott released his tax relief proposal.  School board president Missy Bender said by email that it's too early to know how the governor's plan would affect the district of approximately 54,000 students. But for years, property-rich Plano ISD has been sending some of its tax revenue to the state to be redistributed to poorer districts.  view article arw

If Gov. Greg Abbott is serious about lowering property taxes for Texans, he will need to do better than the latest plan he has offered. This plan takes bad ideas from the last legislative session and amplifies them. It targets cities and counties, and fails to adequately address school finance. We can’t state this clearly enough: Surging property taxes are directly linked to school finance. view article arw

Howls came quickly after Gov. Greg Abbott proposed lowering the lid to 2.5 percent on how much local governments could raise property taxes in a year without triggering a voter referendum. Abbott's proposal earlier this month would require two-thirds of those voting to approve before the 2.5 percent lid could be exceeded.  In the regular and special legislative sessions last year, Republicans Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick had backed unsuccessful efforts for a lid of 4 percent.  The current law sets the increase at 8 percent before voters can petition for a rollback election.  Abbott's latest proposal, and the one last year, made a rollback election automatic if the lid is exceeded. view article arw

Georgia has reportedly offered $1 billion worth of incentives. In Philadelphia, it’s more than $2 billion; in Maryland, $5 billion; and, from high-rolling New Jersey, a whopping $7 billion. But in Texas, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said this week, “We will not give away the farm.” view article arw

As officials assign new property values for the more than 2 million parcels located in Harris and Fort Bend counties, the damage caused by Tropical Storm Harvey in August looms large. It has been estimated that 59,476 homes in Harris, Fort Bend and Waller counties were damaged by Harvey—the city of Katy alone counted 629 homes—which will result in lower values assigned to many of those properties as of Jan. 1. view article arw

The final items on Monday night's Dayton City Council meeting included the call for two elections: the general election for three council spots and a special election for the petitioned tax rollback. The three open city council seats include Position No. 1 Josh Townsend, Position No. 2 Sherial L. Lawson, and Position No. 3 Alvin Burress. Burress is filling out the term of former councilman Dwight Pruitt who resigned mid-term to take on more responsibilities at his church. view article arw

From improving technology so the school district here can be a part of a Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Initiative to a pay increase for teachers, Moody Independent School District has a number of goals it wants to accomplish. But there’s a problem: Money. Superintendent Gary Martell explained to a group of 30 Moody residents gathered at the high school Tuesday evening that the district is considering holding a tax ratification election to change the two rates that form its property tax rate. view article arw

The Katy ISD board of trustees approved its consent agenda in full at Monday’s meeting and discussed several other topics. Read highlights from the night’s deliberations: view article arw

Here in Abilene, and across the state of Texas, homeowners and businesses are being crushed by property taxes. Over the past 20 years, property tax collections in Texas have increased by 195 percent. Rising property taxes are undermining private property rights and placing a costly burden on the people of Texas. Seniors face the threat of being taxed out of the homes they have lived in for decades, younger generations are being priced out of the market for their first home, and business owners are unable to grow their businesses because of higher property taxes. view article arw

ARLINGTON Gov. Greg Abbott has a plan to give Texans long-sought property tax relief.  The key, said Abbott, who is seeking a second term in office, is putting a 2.5 percent revenue growth cap on property tax dollars collected by local taxing entities — cities, school districts and counties — unless voters approve a larger amount.  “Our fellow Texans are angry and they are frustrated about the skyrocketing property taxes in this state,” said Abbott, who was flanked Wednesday by more than a dozen North Texas lawmakers as he detailed his plan at the Tarrant County Subcourthouse in Arlington. “And they are demanding that something be done. view article arw

Governor's tax plan: First things first: Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest campaign idea isn’t going to lower your property taxes. Property taxes are local. It’s in the Texas Constitution: The state can’t levy a property tax. The governor and the Legislature can’t lower rates. The state doesn’t do property appraisals, either, so they can’t mess with the value of any particular property on the tax rolls. view article arw

Governor's tax plan - js Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has unveiled a plan to cut property taxes, hoping to make the proposal a centerpiece of his re-election campaign despite its needing to be approved by the Legislature. Announced Tuesday in Houston, the plan would establish an annual property tax revenue growth cap of 2.5 percent. view article arw

AUSTIN - Gov. Greg Abbott put local property taxes front-and-center in his campaign for re-election Tuesday, proposing to sharply restrict how much cities, counties and school districts can raise from local residents to pay for services.Alamo Trust to hold open meetings in wake of transparency...“With the skyrocketing rise in property taxes, more and more Texans face the risk of being forced out of the homes they have lived in for decades... Enough is enough,” said Abbott, who last year called property tax increases the No. 1 issue facing the state but was unable to spur revenue limits through the Legislature. view article arw

Denton County property owners saw their tax bills creep up again this past year, a familiar routine that leaves taxpayers shelling out more for schools despite a stable tax rate. The average person living in a $200,000 home in Denton ISD will pay nearly $2,700 to the school district when they go to the tax office to pay their bills on or before Jan. 31. Overall, Denton ISD saw a 17.4 percent increase in local tax revenue this year, even though its tax rate remained at $1.54 per $100 valuation. view article arw

Gregg County Tax Assessor/Collector Kirk Shields is reminding property owners that city, school and other property tax bills become delinquent Feb. 1. Penalties and interest begin accruing at 7 percent after that date. They rise another 2 percent each month until paid. view article arw

While no vote on the potential $426 million bond issue was taken Tuesday evening, the Killeen Independent School District Board of Trustees received information on the draft bond proposition and the language that would appear on the May 5 ballot. Jerry Kyle of the law firm Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP presented the drafts of the statements, which will not be voted on by the KISD board until its Feb. 13 meeting. Matt Boles, of RBC Capital Markets, presented spreadsheets on how the bonds would be paid off over the 30-year period. “We will carefully time the sale of the bonds to meet the construction schedule of each project,” Boles said during his presentation. view article arw

For the last 10 years, Texas elected officials have been gradually cutting funding to public schools. As a result, local school costs have been rising and local property taxes have been rising with them. The Legislature has now shifted over $2 billion a year worth of funding that would have gone to public schools to other programs. view article arw

Texas Senate Select Committee on Property Tax Reform Chairman Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) has responded to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 by the U.S. Congress. The legislation passed by a margin of 224-201 in the House of Representatives and a 51-48 margin in the U.S. Senate. Bettencourt has been getting calls about how big of a Texas home, in value, is still covered under this act. view article arw

Texas leads the nation in both oil and natural gas production — which, in turn, yields significant revenue for the state. Texas charges businesses a 4.6 percent tax rate on oil production and a 7.5 percent rate on natural gas production. In the 2017 budget year, the oil production tax raised more than $2 billion for the state, while the natural gas production tax brought in a little less than $1 billion. view article arw

A facility referred to by Longview officials to help residents understand the size of a Dollar General Corp. distribution center they were working to attract now provides another comparison — of how such a project can benefit a school district. To make this one, Longview ISD can look to the Target distribution center in Lindale. It's a project officials say grew that school district's total taxable value to $1.06 billion from $333 million — a $723 million increase, or an annual growth rate of 12.2 percent. view article arw

The Sherman Independent School District’s board of trustees learned Friday that favorable bond rates could allow the district to decrease the planned tax rate increase related to the $176 million bond approved by voters in November or save for the future. Sherman ISD’s financial advisor Joshua McLaughlin, with BOK Financial Securities, presented the preliminary financing plan for the issuance of building bonds during Friday’s special meeting. view article arw

As officials embark on the annual process of assigning new property values for the more than 1.7 million parcels located in Harris County, the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey in August looms large. It has been estimated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that as many as 144,000 homes could have flooded in Harris County as a result of Harvey, which will result in lower values assigned to many of those properties when they are reappraised Jan. 1. How that damage affects property values countywide remains to be seen, said Jack Barnett, spokesperson for the Harris County Appraisal District, the entity that conducts the reappraisal process each year. view article arw

 With the Republican-led Congress ambling toward final passage this week of major tax reform decried by Democrats, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas already has begun campaigning on a school choice provision giving tax breaks to families that home-school or send their children to private or religious schools.In recent weeks since the Texas Republican narrowly secured his “Student Opportunity Amendment” in the GOP tax bill — with an assist from Vice President Mike Pence, who cast the tie-breaking vote — Cruz’s 2018 Senate campaign has been heralding the measure to a key Texas constituency: religious conservatives. view article arw

KILGORE — An unusual legal battle continues for Kilgore ISD after trustees Monday unanimously agreed to appeal a judge's ruling that would require it to refund millions in property tax collections.  The decision came after board members met 41 minutes in closed session with their attorney. Trustees did not discuss the action publicly before voting, but in making his motion, Trustee John Slagle said the district is supported in the move by the Texas Association of School Boards. view article arw

A woman said she plans to sue the state of Texas after she was raped by an inmate at a prison where she was working as a teacher. Nicole Truelove, 45, stood in front of a federal courthouse in Houston on Thursday with her attorneys and tearfully shared her story with the public. The Dallas Morning News does not typically name alleged victims of sexual assault, but Truelove has come forward publicly with her case. She said she was teaching a class at the Ferguson Unit in Madison County on Nov. 13 when she saw one of the inmates masturbating in her classroom, according to the Houston Chronicle. After giving the inmate repeated warnings, she wrote him up.   view article arw

Humble ISD is looking at $100 million in damages related to Hurricane Harvey, and the board approved a $60 million line of credit to ensure the work gets done as quickly as possible. Mike Seale, Humble Independent School District chief financial officer, said the district hopes not to use any of the credit from Chase Morgan, but the move will allow the district to plan more effectively. "All of the people that we have hired to do this work for us to get Kingwood High School, particularly, put back together so quickly demand quick payment," Seale said. "They're not going to wait on FEMA." view article arw