The City of Frisco raised property taxes 38 percent higher than the effective tax rate over the last five years. These statistics can be found on the Collin County Tax Assessor’s website.*
Texas’ Truth in Taxation laws require that local officials be told just how much their rates should fall to offset appraisal growth on the existing tax base. This appraisal-adjusted figure is known as the “effective” property tax rate.
Frisco’s tax-hiking record is in stark contrast to the Collin County Commissioner’s Court, which has repeatedly lowered the county’s tax rate, and adopted their effective tax rate in 2016.
The council voted to increase taxes by 8.5 percent the very same year. This single-year hike was high, although less punishing than the absurd 10.5 percent effective increase approved last year.
With Collin County homeowners already paying the second highest total property taxes in Texas, taxes are sure to be a priority issue in Frisco’s upcoming “special” city council election on Saturday, February 18th, 2017.
Frisco officials will likely claim victory over a minuscule rate cut, which has only fallen by 1.2 cents over the same five year period ($0.4619 vs $0.45). But to prevent a net tax increase in 2017, tax data shows the council should have lowered their rate by 3.5 cents.
Like most local governments, they refused.
That’s unfortunate, considering Frisco taxpayers are among those who’ve been hit the hardest. Voters overwhelmingly rejected a 13-cent tax rate hike proposed by Frisco ISD just last year. And even though the increase was rejected, taxpayers whose appraisal increased will still pay more to the school district.
In fact, the effective tax increase levied by Frisco ISD over the last five years exceeds 41 percent, according to the county tax assessor. That’s a 41 percent tax increase with a rate that has remained flat at $1.46 per $100 of valuation.
Taxpayers need to understand a simple truth: As appraisal values rise, local taxing authorities (cities, counties, school districts) must lower their tax rates to prevent collecting more money from the same properties taxed the previous year. The Frisco city council has refused to do so.
It’s an objective fact that Frisco taxpayers are getting gouged, when compared to other cities. If Collin County can find a way to live within its means and pay for population growth from new properties added to their tax rolls, so can the City of Frisco. Although FISD’s situation is more complicated due to Robin Hood, the debt portion of their tax resulting from excessive bond proposals is wholly the fault of the school board.
Voters will have two opportunities this year to add pro-taxpayer advocates on city council—February 18th and May 6th. Frisco ISD will also hold elections in May.
*If a local taxing authority crosses more than one county’s jurisdiction, each applicable county tax assessor will publish the effective tax rate information required by Texas’ “Truth in Taxation” laws on their respective websites. The City of Frisco’s tax rate information contained in this article can be found on both the Denton County Tax Assessor’s and Collin County Tax Assessor’s websites.