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City officials in North Texas’ largest suburb have failed to adequately reduce tax rates as home values have skyrocketed, leading to much higher tax bills. The average homeowner in Plano has seen a 36-percent increase in their city tax bill in five years.

Unless council acts to lower the the city’s tax rate this September, residents can expect the tax bill they will receive in November 2018 will reflect a five-year increase that exceeds 40 percent.

The City of Plano has celebrated its commercial development and corporate relocations, including the arrival of companies like Toyota. But for many long-time residents and young families alike, the city is becoming increasingly unaffordable. This is due, in part, to escalating city tax bills.

The city hosted a property tax “town hall” in April, but directed residents’ attention towards Plano ISD school taxes – which make up roughly 60 to 65 percent of the typical tax bill – and the state’s unpopular “Robin Hood” scheme. But this was clearly an effort by the city to deflect blame over their role in raising the taxes they control.

As Plano home values have skyrocketed the past five years, city officials have refused to compensate by reducing the city’s tax rate, resulting in a 36-percent city tax increase on the average homeowner.

In fact, the city’s property tax rate – although 2 cents lower than in 2015 – is the same as it was ten years ago, despite higher home values. A typical home in Plano has seen its tax appraisal increase between 50 to 70 percent!

Despite what some officials claim, higher city tax bills are not due to a growing population. The city is nearly built out, and has only seen a five-percent population increase over the same time period. The 36-percent city tax hike is due to the failure of council to lower tax rates as land values rose, and failure to control spending.

It’s not uncommon to find a home in Plano that has increased in value from $250,000 to $450,000 over the last decade. This homeowner has seen a 58 percent increase in their city tax bill.

Texas Scorecard selected a random street in Plano named Pleasant Valley. Looking at every home in the same section of that street, the average homeowner today pays a city tax bill 54 percent higher than five years ago!

Despite a one-cent property tax rate reduction in the fall of 2017, the mayor and a majority of the council voted to impose a $12 million property tax increase on Plano taxpayers. Only councilmen Tom Harrison and Anthony Ricciardelli voted against the tax increase.

Taxpayers who are tired of paying higher tax bills should hold local officials accountable and demand that tax rates be lowered enough to offset higher property values. The City of Plano’s budget will be released on July 25, with the mayor and council voting on this year’s tax rate in either August or September of 2018.

 

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