Property Taxes

Keller ISD – Swap and Drop or Bait and Switch?

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Keller ISD again is coming to voters asking to increase the tax rate above the max allowed. Apparently, the massive bond money, revenue increases from unprecedented home valuation increases, and long term budget deficits are not enough to cover an apparent inability to spend within their means. They are now planning a tax rate increase so large that it requires taxpayers to vote themselves a larger property tax bill than what we should have to pay. Remember when they did this a few years ago? Voters overwhelmingly said no and then the district punished the voters by limiting bus services.

Over the last several years, the taxpayers in Keller ISD have continued to realize ever increasing and over burdensome property tax increases due to a number of factors.

1. Bonds burdening the district with over $1 billion of debt
2. Long term budget deficits
3. Significant home valuation increases and,
4. Most significant, a school board unwilling to decrease the I&S tax rate so that taxpayers would see little to no increases in their tax bill.

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In Kaufman – It Pays To Be A Crony

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Property taxes are the largest and most onerous taxes Texans pay. But in Kaufman County, it pays to be well-connected.

Donald Trump’s election victory has been broadly viewed as retaliation by hard-working Americans to frustration with today’s political establishment and its close companion—cronyism. The politically connected receive special treatment, while the average taxpayer foots the bill for both the taxes and special interest handouts.

While we often consider cronyism to be relegated to the federal level in Washington D.C., it’s not. Cronyism is alive and well in Texas, particularly at the local level. Kaufman County provides an egregious example with inequities found in the state property tax system.

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De Facto State Property Tax

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In 2016, property values in Collin County increased by an average of 8.9%. No doubt, with the move of ToYoram.Solomonyota and other large companies to the County, it’s a great place to live in, and in great demand, which drives property values up. However, there is a downside to the increase in values: even while keeping similar tax rates, actual property taxes increased by almost 10%.

An increase in property values does not automatically translate into an increase in local expenditures.  Read More

Local Elected Official Meet to Discuss Property Taxes and Budgeting

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Last Friday, June 10th, Direct Action Texas, along with Empower Texans, sponsored their second Lean Local event at the Plano Marriott at Legacy. The attendees represented over 30 municipalities and 6 counties.

Carrollton’s Mayor Pro Tem  Anthony Wilder kicked off the half day event with Budgeting Best Practices. Wilders background as an actuarial analyst brings particular insight into how to analyze and breakdown the real numbers, the liabilities to the city and think of alternative ways to approach some of them. Collin County Judge Keith Self described why and how the appraisal value is not to blame for your increased property taxes, rather the tax rates set by your local governments. The effective tax rate was a hot topic of the day. Here is a simple overview of the effective tax rate issue:

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