Members of the Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District board of directors have voted to advance consideration of a possible 7.9 percent increase in property tax revenues.

According to information from the PGCD, directors voted 7-0 to consider increasing tax revenues 7.9 percent for the upcoming year. The proposed tax rate for this year, $0.0096 per $100 valuation, is higher than their “effective” tax rate of $0.008920 per $100 valuation. It is also just slightly below the “rollback” rate, $0.009608 per $100 valuation, which is the benchmark where, if a property tax rate is set at or beyond the “rollback” rate, citizens can gather signatures to petition for an election for voters to approve or reject that proposed rate.

The “effective” tax rate is the rate at which revenue will stay the same and tax bills will likely remain steady, offsetting changes to increased property valuations. An individual’s tax bill could still fluctuate at the “effective” rate, however, due to changes in valuations. Texas’ Truth in Taxation laws require taxing entities to calculate and publish their effective rate each year to ensure the public is informed of any property tax increases, because year-over-year rate comparisons are meaningless as they don’t account for changing property values.

The district reports property valuations on an average home in the district have risen roughly 2 percent within the last year.

Two directors, Danny Hardcastle and Chancy Cruse, were not in attendance for the proposal to advance the tax increase. All other voting members unanimously advanced the proposal.

A public hearing on the increase will be held on September 5.

Thomas Warren

Thomas Warren, III is the editor-in-chief of the Amarillo Pioneer newspaper in Amarillo, Texas.


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