By now I am sure most of you have received your 2019 Notice of Appraised Value in your mail. For those of you received no increase, congratulations! But most received an increased assessment for our property tax. Many were capped at 10 percent thanks to the homestead exemption. When I received mine, it took a moment for me to realize that this is real and I couldn't stop thinking about two things:
1. Flower Mound Town Manger Jimmy Stathatos went to Austin to oppose the SB2/HB2 proposal that would cap future property tax increases at 2.5 percent with any additional amount requiring a vote of the people. (The town manager is an appointed position chosen by the Town Council). Current law is that any rate increase greater that 8 percent must receive voter approval. Jimmy Stathatos testified that if the legislature passed any reform, he preferred that the cap be more like 8 percent. When he was subsequently was asked if he would accept any rate less than the current 8 percent, he replied "7.9." Our tax dollars paid for this trip. The Texas legislature is now considering outlawing some of this type of lobbying by local government agencies.
A recent Quinnipiac poll shows that Texans overwhelmingly support the 2.5 percent cap by 77 percent.
2. The Lewisville mayor also serves as the chief appraiser for Denton County. This certainly has the appearance of a conflict of interest. He is reportedly is really not happy that so many people have been protesting their property tax assessments in Denton County. The Texas legislature is now considering outlawing these types of conflicts of interests.
3. The 2.5 percent tax rate cap would only slow future increases of property taxes but would do nothing to give us any current property tax relief. Politicians and local governmental employees are very quick to say that there's been no tax rate increases and they have no control over the tax assessor's office. But the truth is the sky rocketing property assessments are hidden tax increases that have given local governments yearly windfalls, that they happily find new ways to spend. The 2.5 percent cap ends this perversion by limiting the amount taxes can increase.
Each of these show that there are consequences from local elections. Early voting has begun so please go out and vote because the destiny of our city/town is important.