The average Round Rock homeowner is now paying roughly $300 more per year to their city council than they did just five years ago—and this past weekend, residents voted to give themselves even higher tax bills.

On Saturday, citizens re-elected two incumbents to the Round Rock City Council: Hilda Montgomery and Rene Flores. Both officials already have histories of raising taxes during their tenures, despite both of them campaigning on affordability and low taxes.

“We need to ensure residents aren’t priced out of their homes, that our teachers and first responders can afford to live where they work, and that our seniors are able to age in place,” said Montgomery.

Still, Montgomery has voted to raise taxes and make “economic incentive agreements,” a term for making special deals with hand-picked businesses. The deals give citizens’ cash and other special perks—such as tax exemptions—to a privileged corporation of the council’s choosing.

Flores told Community Impact one of his priorities is low taxes, but in reality, the council member has also voted to raise taxes and make special deals with businesses. On his website, Flores applauded a multi-million dollar special deal with a waterpark resort as one of his most “notable” council accomplishments.

“Although I am just one member, in my time on Council we have had some significant wins for our city. The most notable being Kalahari Resorts and Convention Center … [among others]”

This is how these corrupt special business deals work: Imagine city council knocking on your door, demanding you pay full taxes, then walking across the street and handing that cash to a next-door neighbor. And that neighbor doesn’t have to pay any taxes of their own.

That’s exactly what Montgomery, Flores, and the city council have done instead of letting Round Rock homeowners keep hundreds of extra dollars to provide for their families.

Based on the council members’ past decisions, citizens can expect their city tax bills to keep climbing—unless they say something.

Round Rock citizens can contact their city council members, particularly the ones they just elected, and tell them to stop taking more of their money and using it on corrupt deals—or citizens can do nothing and simply watch their tax bills soar again next year.

Jacob Asmussen

Jacob Asmussen is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard. He attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and in 2017 earned a double major in public relations and piano performance.