Is Your Government Running Up the Score in the Last Days of the Old Property Tax Law by Raising Taxes?

If you're frustrated about your property tax bill, the next two or three weeks are crucial in the fight to get them lowered.Your local governments (city, county, school, hospital, public college) have all proposed their tax rates in recent weeks for the coming year. They are required to hold two public hearings before they take a final vote, usually in early September.You can look up their proposals and go to the public hearings and speak your mind — either for or against.Is your government behaving in a way you approve of? I'll show you one way to find out.If it sounds like I'm trying to incite the masses to storm city hall, keep in the mind that's the way the system is set up. When they publish their proposed tax rates in legal advertising and hold hearings, they are offering you the opportunity to participate.When you don't, that makes it easier for them to do whatever they want to do.Last gaspWhat do they want to do? Usually, figure out ways to raise more tax revenue.Every year I study this, but this year is different. This is the last gasp of the state's old property tax law.Starting next year, the new law requires governments to hold automatic tax rollback elections if they exceed a certain percentage increase of growth.This year goes under the old rules, which are more favorable to those who want to increase your taxes without needing voter approval.Are some governments running up the score by raising taxes as much as possible before the new rules take effect?"No question," says state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, who wrote most of the new property tax law. "They're trying to build an increase before the law takes effect."  Continue reading...

Copyright The Dallas Morning News
Contact Us