Taxpayer-friendly Collin County, which has the second-lowest property tax rate of all 254 Texas counties, gave unanimous support this week for pro-taxpayer legislation being introduced in the Texas Senate this week.
Collin County Commissioners Court voted 5-0 Monday for a resolution supporting Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 2, property tax reform proposals that give local voters more control over their local tax bills by automatically triggering a tax rate election for any revenue increases over 2.5 percent.
The identical bills received unified support from the state’s “Big Three” – Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen — and Abbott named property tax reform an emergency issue in his State of the State address Tuesday.
But the tax reform proposals have received less than unanimous support from local elected officials representing taxing entities in Collin County.
“Unfortunately, many elected officials seem to think that ‘local control’ really means ‘control over the locals,’” County Judge Chris Hill said in an open letter prior to Monday’s vote. “Of course, the purest form of local control is allowing constituents to vote on property tax increases, which is exactly the intent of the proposed legislation.”
Hill noted Collin County commissioners adopted the effective tax rate, also referred to as the “no-new-revenue” rate, in six of the last ten years. An online poll conducted by Hill shows an overwhelming number of Collin County residents support the reforms in SB 2 and HB 2.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Darrell Hale also polled his constituents; 89 percent voiced support for the pro-taxpayer reforms.
Hill and Hale are in Austin today to testify in favor of the proposed legislation before the Senate Property Tax Committee. Committee vice-chair State Sen. Angela Paxton (R–McKinney), who represents Senate District 8 in Collin County, commended the commissioners’ action via Twitter, as did Abbott.
This is excellent. Collin County takes a step toward ensuring property tax reform for their taxpayers. At the same time Texas will work to reduce Robin Hood, reform School Finance, pay our teachers more, and reduce unfunded mandates on local government. #txlege @CollinCountyGov https://t.co/WdWdxA5b0V
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) February 5, 2019
Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney and McKinney Mayor George Fuller are among local elected officials publicly opposing the bills. The Texas Municipal League also opposes the pro-taxpayer reforms, calling the 2.5-percent trigger “draconian.”