The need for property tax reform

December 0708:35 AM

I recently had a conversation with a neighbor who had listed his home for sale. Because he was a longtime homeowner in my neighborhood, it seemed odd to me that he would suddenly be moving. He had retired three years previous but before doing so, he had been a manager in a Fortune 500 company, and had financially done very well. He had paid off all his indebtedness, including his home, and seemed to be enjoying his lifestyle.  When I asked him why he was moving, he replied, "the property taxes are killing me;" and at the rate of increase from year to year, it would soon be impossible for him to maintain his current lifestyle. He continued, "The taxes are now almost the amount of the payment I used to make on my home." view article arw

While rising property values benefit property owners in the long run, local taxpayers often receive sticker shock when their local property tax bill arrives.  Logically, with education funding largely reliant on property taxes, education should be the biggest beneficiary of rising property values. Not so. Unfortunately, public education does not receive additional operating revenue from property value increases beyond the first year, because the State reduces their contribution to education spending the next year. view article arw

Good Read!  - Everyone who loves living in Texas has his or her own list of things that make our state a great place.  For me, it’s the people, our vibrant cities – along with the barbeque and breakfast tacos – that rise to the top of the list.  One thing that’s often mentioned as an attraction for businesses and people moving to Texas is our low taxes and, of course, no income tax.  The latest state rankings from the Tax Foundation listed Texas as 46th in the amount of combined state and local taxes paid by residents. view article arw

After Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick saluted legislation potentially giving voters more sway over local property taxes, we wondered afresh about how Texas ranks nationally in terms of property tax burden.  Patrick, talking up a proposal hatched by fellow Republicans led by Houston state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, said in a Nov. 29, 2016, press release: "Texans pay the sixth-highest property tax in the nation, and Texans have told us loud and clear that common-sense property tax reform legislation is long overdue."  In January 2016, we found Mostly True the same claim by a Bexar County legislative aspirant.  view article arw

Read! If this article is paywalled for you - you can watch the actual comments Bentoncourt made by watching the video.- js- AUSTIN — State Sen. Paul Bettencourt filed legislation Tuesday he said would ensure local property tax rates decrease as property values rise, arguing that local taxing entities have exploited “the current system’s flaws” to overburden taxpayers.  The Republican senator from Houston unveiled a five-point plan that would, most notably, reform the rollback process by which local taxing entities, which include schools and cities, can approve annual property tax increases. Bettencourt’s bill would repeal the current process and replace it with a provision that would trigger a tax ratification election if an entity exceeds a specified rate. The legislation also would cut the growth limit on rollback tax rate calculations from 8 percent to 4 percent. view article arw

Following the outcomes of the November elections, property owners in SAISD will see their property taxes go up considerably. However, a homestead exemption unanimously approved by the SAISD board at its meeting on Nov. 28 may bring relief.  Board President Patti Radle pointed out that while some taxpayers will only have to make minor adjustments to their family budget, others will feel the increase more severely.  “For other people it might mean denting into their budget for a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk,” said Radle. “We want to be sensitive to that.” view article arw

AUSTIN — Legislative leaders with promises to keep about tax relief — but limited state dollars at their disposal — want to give local voters more power to block city and county increases in property tax revenues.  It’s touted as a way to help Texans pushed to the wall by rising property tax bills, but cities and counties are digging in for a fight against the proposal being developed by the Senate Select Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief. view article arw

State Rep. James Frank (R-Wichita Falls) wasn't bluffing earlier this year when he said he'd file a bill to limit tax incentives for wind energy projects that encroach on military airspace. This week, Frank did just that by filing the Military Aviation Safety Act, a measure that would take away tax exemptions for wind farms built within a 30-mile radius of Texas military bases. The bill is one outcome of an increasingly divisive situation in Wichita Falls, where military officials, landowners and business leaders have railed against the possible construction of wind energy developments in the general vicinity of Sheppard Air Force Base. view article arw

The Dallas school board Thursday night voted against putting a tax ratification election before voters this fall. The proposed 13-cent tax hike would have given the district $100 million to fund early childhood education and early college high school programs. The district also wanted to expand a program that pays extra money to top teachers who take jobs in some of the district’s toughest schools. view article arw

Trustees of the Wylie Independent School District proposed a tax rate of $1.13 per $100 of property value for the 2016-17 fiscal year — a tax cut of 2.4 cents — and added more money to the proposed budget for teachers' salaries during Monday's regular board meeting. Trustees conducted their third of three workshops for the 2016-17 budget of $32.340 million and set a special meeting for Monday, Aug. 29, at 6:30 p.m. to receive comments from the public on the budget and tax rate and then consider approval. view article arw

Kilgore ISD tax rate in the air

June 2407:38 AM

School trustees in Kilgore began their budget-writing season Monday with an overview of what is and isn’t known about financing the 2014-15 school year. view article arw