This week, Corsicana moved to the top of a short list of cities giving Texas residents a break on their property taxes, offering genuine relief in the form of a real tax cut.

The Corsicana City Council voted Monday to adopt a 2023 budget based on a property tax rate below the no-new-revenue rate, which collects the same amount of tax revenue from the same properties taxed the previous year by adjusting downward to offset rising property values.

Any tax rate higher than the no-new-revenue rate is a tax increase.

As one Corsicana council member explains, the rate of $0.5288 is a true tax cut for city taxpayers.

“Citizens in Corsicana will pay less property taxes to the city in 2023 with this rate,” said Corsicana City Councilman Chris Woolsey, who has championed lower taxes and responsible spending since he was elected to council in 2019. “This rate will collect roughly $600,000 less property tax revenue than the 2022 budget, and $400,000 less than the 2021 budget.”

Woolsey noted appraisals do not set property tax bills—local taxing entities including cities, schools, counties, and junior colleges determine how much residents pay in property tax.

He said Corsicana can cut property taxes while still maintaining outstanding city services.

“Until the broken property tax system is eliminated by the state Legislature, it is up to all local entities to assume leadership for providing property tax relief in their own jurisdictions,” he said.

While our state officials continue to make excuses and kick the can further down the road, Corsicana will step up and provide a real reduction in your property tax bill. This rate is not lip service of “reducing the tax rate” while secretly bringing in more dollars, as Texas Municipal League tries to manipulate elected officials into saying. This rate will reduce the dollars coming out of the pockets of Corsicana taxpayers.

Woolsey said he hopes all taxing entities in Navarro County adopt the no-new-revenue rate or lower, providing local residents property tax relief across the board.

It’s a mixed bag in neighboring Ellis County.

The city of Waxahachie is raising property taxes to pay for spending increases. Officials are budgeting based on a rate just below the voter-approval rate, which collects 3.5 percent more revenue for maintenance and operations from the same properties taxed the previous year.

Any tax rate higher than the voter-approval rate triggers a public vote to approve the excessive tax increase.

It’s not clear what rate city officials plan to impose on taxpayers in Midlothian. At their August 9 meeting, Midlothian City Council members discussed adopting the no-new-revenue rate. But they voted for a much higher proposed rate (just below voter approval), after a city official confused it with the no-new-revenue rate.

Other Texas cities budgeting based on the no-new-revenue rate include Colleyville and Wylie (for the fifth year in a row), Plano (for the fourth consecutive year), and Keller.

Corsicana City Council will cast a final vote to adopt its new tax rate on September 12.

Other cities are also holding public hearings and adopting budgets and tax rates now through September.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.