A new tool from the Texas Public Policy Foundation shows dozens of cities and counties plan to raise property tax bills for the upcoming year. TPPF’s “Local Government Property Tax Tracker” has begun compiling available data on cities and counties across the state to inform Texans about how their local governments are responding to skyrocketing property taxes. So far, the foundation has tracked more than thirty cities and counties and will continue to add more data as it becomes available.
“Local governments will play games with the numbers to try and hide what they’re doing,” said James Quintero, TPPF’s Policy Director for the Government for the People campaign. “For instance, they’ll highlight that they are lowering tax rates, but due to increasing housing valuations, taxpayers will still pay more. Our question is simple, ‘will the average taxpayer pay more or less than they did last year?’”
“Further, even when some local governments legitimately lower property taxes, they turn around and jack up fees and other items to boost revenues. Taxpayers need to know that, as well,” Quintero added.
Of the thirty-one local governments TPPF has so far evaluated, twenty-five raise taxes, just two lower property taxes, three remained unchanged, and one is pending further information. TPPF has advocated for a no-new-revenue rate that would keep total revenue unchanged and hold tax receipts steady from year over year as taxpayers continue to get punished by inflation, high gas prices, and the economic recession.
“Local governments who adopt property tax rates at or below the no-new-revenue rate are setting the standard for fiscal responsibility,” concluded Quintero.