State Property Tax? Don't Count On It

Ballot propositions raise fears of statewide property tax

By Kevin Cokely
|  Saturday, Oct 31, 2009  |  Updated 9:20 AM CDT
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State Property Tax? Don't Count On It

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Property taxes are no game.

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State Property Tax? Don't Count On It

Supporters of Propositions 2, 3 and 5 insist they would not create a stateside property tax in Texas, despite emails which claim otherwise.
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Supporters of Propositions 2, 3 and 5 insist they would not create a statewide property tax in Texas despite emails that claim otherwise.

"Now the State of Texas wants to tax your home too!" Is a claim circulating to taxpayers and voters throughout Texas.

But that's not exactly true, said the legislative author of the ballot propositions, Republican State Representative John Otto, of Dayton.

"In no way, shape, or form do these propositions create a way for the state to tax property," he explained.

Collin County's chief appraiser, Bo Daffin said he believes a lot of the confusion is caused by the way the language on the ballot is styled.

"I don't see anything in the amendment that overturns the prohibition of a state property tax levy itself," he said.

Supporters, which include the Texas Association of Realtors, said the propositions would simply make the appraisal process much more fair, ensuring for example, home values are based on their current use and not the property's highest and best use as a commercial property.

"It doesn't take anything away from local control," said Olin Jaye, with the Collin County Association of Realtors. "It just says how do you appraise that piece of property in whatever county it is, and you do it with a uniform standard methods, procedures and that sort of thing. And you just try to be consistent and fair to all the property owners."

There doesn't appear to be any organized opposition to propositions 2, 3 and 5. The emails may have started with early voters who spotted them on Tuesday's ballot.

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