Property tax reform: Reducing amount of tax increases is not funding cut

Pratt on TexasAbout proposed property tax reform, listener David posted on the Pratt on Texas Facebook page: “Abilene local news recently had a cute little piece on this, interviewing the county judge. Of course this “cut” will negatively impact the emergency services first… It’s amazing how many people have been convinced that a reduction in the rate of increase is equivalent to a cut in funding. While it could be potentially offset with inflation rates – that becomes a push, still not a cut.”

These common statements from local elected officials demonstrate either extreme ignorance or a willingness to lie. The ratification election trigger amount, called a “cap,” is no cap on anything. It is simply a trigger amount which results in a ratification election if existing property taxes on existing property are raised above that amount.

It’s amazing how many people have been convinced that a reduction in the rate of increase is equivalent to a cut in funding.

Real inflation would have to run above that “cap” amount, which it has not in decades, AND voters say “no” before any taxing entity would not have more new money in their budget than the year before. How does having more money in the budget lead to draconian cuts?

Plus the trigger level, called a cap, doesn’t cover new property and improvements, sales tax increases, and other things which bring in more money to local government budgets annually, no matter which way voters go in a given year.

And by the way, David also wrote: “While my position and my livelihood are directly funded by property tax (a little help from sales tax) I still emphatically support lowering the rollback rates AND going a step further and muzzling county appraisal districts.”

What do you think?...

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