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This week, the head of the Plano Chamber of Commerce came out in support of the city’s proposed 4.5 percent property tax hike. If approved, the average Plano homeowner will see a 40 percent increase in their city tax bill in only five years.

At Monday’s city council meeting (Aug 27), officials conducted the first public hearing on the city’s proposed 4.5 percent tax hike in 2018. State law requires cities to hold two public hearings when proposing a tax increase.

More than 40 citizens expressed opposition to the tax increase at the meeting. In addition to half a dozen speakers opposing the tax increase with persuasive testimony – including Mark Reid of the Plano Citizens Coalition – more than 570 petitions from residents were also presented to council asking officials not to raise their city tax bills.

The average Plano homeowner has seen their city property tax bill increase by 36 percent in four years, according to city records. If passed, the proposed increase in 2018 would push that figure over 40 percent in just five years. Higher city taxes are the result of council failing to reduce its city tax rate enough to offset skyrocketing property values. The city makes up roughly 20 percent of the average homeowner’s total property tax bill.

Jim Dillavou, a Plano resident and retired CPA, gave compelling testimony when he cited city data comparing the city’s tax revenue growth to its resident population.

While city property tax revenues have increased 46.5 percent since 2014, Plano’s resident population has only risen 5.7 percent. Dillavou asked, “Why should tax revenue rise eight times faster than the city’s population?”

Only four individuals expressed their support for the proposed tax increase on the agenda, including Plano Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Jamee Jolly.

Jolly suggested her member businesses consider the proposed tax hike an “investment.” No business owner was present to speak on behalf of the increase. Jolly also referenced a “survey” of Plano residents that indicated they were satisfied with city services.