Because of the size and growth of Texas’ property tax problem, state lawmakers passed a series of reforms during the last legislative session to help ease the swell of local tax bills. One of those reforms—a supermajority vote requirement—appears to have worked as hoped, protecting Dallas taxpayers from a major tax increase.
Included as part of SB 1760 is a provision requiring broad consensus from local governing bodies wanting to raise taxes. More specifically, the law now requires that “at least 60 percent of the members of the governing body must vote in favor of [an] ordinance, resolution, or order” before the body can adopt a tax rate above the effective tax rate. And it must be a record vote.
It’s this new supermajority requirement that last week blocked Dallas ISD officials from asking voters to approve a 13-cent tax hike that could have netted the district an additional $100 million and cost the average taxpayer in the district, with a home valued at $169,000, an extra $220 annually. While the Dallas school board came close to getting the votes necessary to send it voters in November, the massive tax increase ultimately wasn’t able to secure the support it needed.
More from the Dallas Morning News:
While the overall vote was in favor of calling for the election, 5-4, a six-vote super-majority was needed in order for the measure to be placed on the November ballot.
The current M&O tax rate of $1.04 will remain unchanged for the next year.
For tapped-out taxpayers, this is a big win and a good sign that structural property tax reform can go far to protect the family budget. For legislators, this is evidence that more structural reforms are needed.