There’s a true crisis unfolding in this state right now. For many Texans—particularly the elderly and those on fixed incomes—a tax bill is nothing short of crushing. The Texas Legislature must act this session. They need to hear from you — their constituents.
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Talking Points to Share:
- From 2012 to 2017, local property taxes soared by almost 40 percent across the entire state. That’s well above population growth and inflation increases, which rose just 15.3 percent.
- Studies suggest that oppressive taxes can discourage economic growth and activity, distort investment decisions (especially among capital intensive industries), and depress job creation.
- Long-time residents and iconic businesses are being pushed out of their homes and properties.
- In fiscal 2016, more than 5,000 local tax jurisdictions hit homeowners and businesses with tax bills totaling $56.1 billion.
- From 1998 to 2017, Texas’ local property taxes grew by 212%. In comparison, population growth and inflation increased by only 114%.
- On a per capita basis, Texas’ property tax is large enough to collect more than $2,000 from every man, woman, and child in the state or more than $8,000 from a family of four.
- State lawmakers need to contain the problem. This can be accomplished by setting the rollback tax rate at 2.5 percent for cities, counties, and school districts and simply requiring voter approval for any revenue needed above that amount.
- Lawmakers should consider a property tax plan that would limit the growth of state government spending and redirect that surplus toward tax relief.
Reducing our reliance on property taxes overall means that we move closer to Texans being able to truly own their own property, rather than continuing to “rent” from the government well after their homes have been paid off. These are the kinds of transformative and critical initiatives that our Legislature should tackle this session.