Property Tax Appraisals Skyrocket from Metroplex to Killeen

In Dallas County, total property values are up 16 percent, with about half of that attributable to increases on existing properties, according to a Dallas Morning News report.

appAlthough Collin County has not posted 2007 average home values yet, the Dallas Morning News reports that total appraisals are up 47 percent in Celina , 38.9 percent in Prosper, and 30.3 percent in Melissa, all of which are in the northern part of the county. Assuming half is due to new construction, that is still 15 to 24 percent increases in average home value.

Hitchcock and Galveston Engulfed by Rising Tide of Property Taxes

If you've ever been to Hitchcock, which is situated in the shadows of Texas hitchCity and its effusive refineries, despite the proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, you might be forgiven for not having thought you were in Palm Beach. Hitchcock may not seem like a ritzy resort rolling in money, but don't tell that to the Galveston County Tax Appraiser. It turns out that property values in Hitchcock are increasing by 27.41 percent this year, according to a Galveston Daily News report.

Dallas Shopping Centers Ring Up Lawsuit Against Apprisal District

According to a Dallshopas Business Journal article , the owners of several Dallas-area shopping centers, including Highland Park Village and Preston Trail Plaza, are suing the Dallas Central Appraisal District and the Dallas Appraisal Review Board, saying the method the entities use to calculate tax appraisals violates the Texas Constitution.

Too Much Dust, Not Enough Results

Too Much Dust, Not Enough Results

Besides just bad philosophy, one of the worst contributors to government growth is our misplaced emphasis on defining success by activity. When you stand on the plains and look to the horizon, a great cloud of dust can be either an army purposefully on the move, or a lone idiot riding his horse in circles. 

Too often, we are just interested in seeing a great cloud of dust, and not interested enough in the results. In every debate in Austin (and in Washington) the discussion centers too much on "how much we have/are/will spend" and not nearly enough on "what we have/are/will accomplish."

Texas Hotel Taxes Enough to Make You Lose Sleep

Fhotelound this revealing tidbit on the Austin American-Statesman's entertainment pages: 

Those hotel occupancy taxes in Texas’ big cities are so high they’ll give you a nosebleed. Example: My $279 stay at the lovely Granduca Hotel in Houston a few days ago carried $46.93 in occupancy tax: That’s 6 percent for the great State of Texas, 7 percent for the city, 2 percent for Harris County and another 2 percent for the Houston-Harris County Sports Authority, the entity that builds stadiums.

More Taxes, Courtesy of Republican Fred Hill

There was once a time when Republicans were known as the tax-cutters; people who – if nothing else – would work to make sure the taxpayers’ money stayed in the taxpayers’ wallet (as State Rep. Rob Eissler likes to say).

That was then, this is now. State Rep. Fred Hill (R-Richardson) wants to raise your local taxes. Sure, he wants to start with the Dallas-Fort Worth area. But don’t worry; this new tax will spread like a virus to every city in Texas. He is pushing a bill to let those cities raise their sales tax to fund mass transit. (Never mind that mass transit is usually spelled “B-O-O-N-D-O-G-G-L-E.” or, in the original French, “P-O-R-K”)

Pork in the State Budget?

The McAporkllen Monitor reported that the new $150 billion House budget for the 2008-09 biennium includes some arguably pork barrel expenditures – most of those mentioned are earmarks for projects in the Rio Grande Valley. Among the taxpayer-funded projects mentioned are:

House Committee Unanimously Hangs Up on Telephone Tax

The Lone Star Report brings us the following good news:

The House Regulated Industries committee unanimously voted Feb. 21 to tphoneeliminate the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (TIF). The tax on consumers’ phone bill was created in 1995 to help wire schools, libraries and colleges for the Internet. TIF was supposed to end after 10 years or after it raised $1.5 billion, whichever came first. However in 2005, the Legislature removed the tax’s expiration date. Since 2003, the tax was used to fund general revenue and is no longer used for its original purpose.