Add the City of McKinney to the list of local taxing entities that want unfettered access to taxpayers’ wallets.
McKinney Mayor George Fuller spoke against property tax reform legislation at Monday’s Collin County Commissioners Court meeting and said the county should not endorse the pro-taxpayer measures on behalf of any other taxing entities.
House Bill 2 and Senate Bill 2 would give local voters more control over their property tax bills by automatically triggering a tax rate election for any revenue increases over 2.5 percent.
Fuller downplayed the proposed reform’s benefits to taxpayers while claiming its impact on the city could be severe.
“The City of McKinney supports meaningful tax relief for its citizens,” Fuller told the court. “My issue with SB 2 and HB 2 is that it is not meaningful tax relief,” he said.
Fuller claimed that, had the proposed trigger been in place last year, the average McKinney homeowner would have saved only 35 cents a month. “Is that meaningful tax relief?”
He speculated the trigger could have potential added costs in terms of voting and having to generate multiple city budgets, and said “restricting our potential revenue source” would have a “direct and tangible impact” on the city’s bond rating.
“These bills are like a pretty, shiny new ball that distracts our residents,” he said. “The real issues facing cities are state-imposed unfunded mandates and the gross decline of state school funding” — issues lawmakers are addressing in separate legislation.
Fuller also told commissioners the city’s homestead exemption, firemen, policemen, and safety services would all be “compromised and jeopardized” by limiting McKinney to a voter-approved tax rate.
“It’s a great soundbite, let’s let the voters decide,” Fuller concluded. “The voters elected us to make those decisions.”
McKinney resident Brian Newman spoke to the court in favor of the bills, calling them a terrific way to bring accountability to local government. “Having these triggers for elections allows the people to come in and check the government.”
Commissioners voted unanimously to support the pro-taxpayer reforms.