If you want local growth, work to lower local property taxes

Pratt on TexasTimothy Chipp of the Abilene Reporter-News reported earlier this week that Abilene ISD trustees, in addition to approving pay raises for district employees, heard the recommendation of a bond debt committee that taxpayers go $136,700,000 deeper in debt.

In the story, Chipp only bothered to give the “20 cents per $100 valuation” phrase for what a tax increase the bond debt issue, if passed, would be on residents. I took the few extra seconds needed to express the number in more meaningful terms.

The proposed Abilene ISD bond debt issue would cause a $400 per year tax increase on a home with a current taxable $200,000 appraised value. And remember that such is at the current taxable appraised value and does not include future appraisal increases, which are certain to come near annually.

The proposed Abilene ISD bond debt issue would cause a $400 per year tax increase on a home with a current taxable $200,000 appraised value.

People in Abilene and across parts of the state spend a lot of time talking about population growth and fretting over what needs to be done to achieve growth. Yet they seem often to ignore that next to work opportunity the most important metric for future growth is not prettier government buildings and nicer athletic facilities.

The empirical data on what attracts sustained growth is availability and cost of better housing. Living in better, bigger, and safer housing is what all families seek most universally in these United States of America.

Constantly raising property taxes, or simply keeping taxes high by never paying off debt, has a hugely negative effect on housing prices by greatly inflating mortgage and rent payments.

If you truly want growth, work to lower local property taxes as opposed to increasing them.

What do you think?...

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