A taxpayer’s revolution is growing in North Texas, as three cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex are now seeking to adopt property tax rates that respect taxpayers.

“It’s the people’s money,” Colleyville Mayor Pro Tem Bobby Lindamood Jr. posted on Facebook. Lindamood announced the city’s proposed property tax rate of $0.306807 per $100 of taxable value—a rate not only lower than last year but low enough to offset increases in appraisal values.

That means taxpayers, for the most part, should see their city tax bills held at bay.

While cities across the state are rapidly grabbing more taxpayer money, Colleyville has been setting a new course by seeking to adopt the “effective” tax rate, also called the “no-new-revenue” tax rate. This means the city will tax the existing population the same amount in total as last year; all of the new population will still add bonus revenue to the city.

If Colleyville’s tax rate is approved, this would be the second year in a row that the city’s officials have chosen to adopt the effective rate, and they likely won’t be alone. The City of Plano announced earlier that they, too, are planning to adopt the effective rate.

The City of Southlake, however, is not just seeking to join both Colleyville and Plano in the pro-taxpayer league but to leapfrog them. They announced Tuesday evening they will seek to adopt a property tax rate below their “no-new-revenue” rate.

“If the proposal is approved by the City Council, our property tax rates will reduce from 44 cents to 41 cents per $100 taxable value (less than the effective tax rate),” wrote Southlake Councilman Dr. Shahid Shafi.

“No cuts in services. No new debt. This will be a huge win for all taxpayers,” Shafi said.

“The largest tax rate cut since the 1980’s plus the maximum homestead exemption of 20 [percent],” wrote Mayor Laura Hill in another Facebook post.

These cities are pursuing these actions before the statewide property tax reform, Senate Bill 2, takes effect in 2020. The new law will require most cities and counties to simply ask citizens via election for any tax raise above 3.5 percent.

In the wake of Colleyville’s and Southlake’s announcements, each city will hold public hearings on their budgets and property tax rates on September 3 and again on September 17, when they will also vote on final budgets and tax rates.

Plano will be holding a townhall meeting on their proposed budget on August 8, a public hearing on August 12, and will vote on the final budget and property tax rate on September 9.

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.