Commentary: Property Taxes Shouldn’t Be A Concern When Buying A House - Texas Scorecard

Like many Texans across the state I am concerned about rising property taxes.  I support property tax relief but we also must figure out a way to reform the system.  Senate Bill 2 is a great step in that direction.

I can tell you that my wife and I are looking for a new house, and when we find a listing we like, we do two things:  one, we make sure it’s in our price range, and two, we go straight to the property tax report and see how much the homeowners paid the prior year.

Having to worry about property taxes shouldn’t be a top concern when buying a house, but it is.  We simply can’t afford to buy a home with high property taxes, and go on in the next some odd years face tax increases of 8% every year.  The compounding increase of tax rates is hurting Texans of all financial backgrounds.

We are currently looking to buy in the City of Fort Worth.  To no surprise, the “Republican” members of the council have either come out against SB2 or are ignoring our questions and refusing to answer if they support it or not.  If SB2 passes, the taxing entities cannot raise property taxes more than 2.5% of what you paid in the prior year without triggering an election.  What is so hard for them to accept about this?  If the need really exists for them to raise taxes more than 2.5%, they should be able to make the case to the voters for approval.

Rooted in the majority of their rhetoric is, in my opinion, the talking points of government-funded lobbyists.  Yes, I am talking about the Texas Municipal League.  The same group that I saw passing their business cards out like candy last session to fight property tax relief.  TML has already come out hard against SB2 and have made claims such as it would only “save $2.70/month” for Austin residents.  This statement proves why we need SB2 to pass.  The taxing entities have forgotten whose money they collect.  It’s the taxpayers, and regardless of how small of an increase you think we’d get, it’s still our money.

Taxpayers are not an endless supply of money to be used for pleasure by the cities, school districts, and special taxing districts.

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