Tarrant Regional Water District has proposed a property tax rate that would dramatically increase the property taxes homeowners would pay to the district.

Data from the Tarrant Appraisal District shows that the district’s average property tax bill for homeowners increased 35.5 percent from 2013 to 2018, $24 to $32. However, the property tax rate the district has proposed for their new budget, $0.0287 per $100 valuation, would result in the average district property tax bill for homeowners increasing 62.63 percent from the last fiscal year, from $32 in 2018 to $52 under the proposed tax rate. This would also be more than a 120 percent increase from 2013.

Despite showing their proposed tax rate, nowhere in their press release did the TRWD state what the “effective” tax rate, also called the “no-new-revenue” rate, would be. This rate adjusts as property values change to keep taxpayers’ bills more or less the same from one year to the next, in the aggregate, though individual results vary based on valuations and exemptions.

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 effects of their proposed tax rate means TRWD will not join the property tax revolution currently sweeping North Texas, and instead, like other local governments, will try to grab as much taxpayer cash as possible.

TRWD is also one of the local taxing entities mired in the Panther Island development boondoggle whose costs have skyrocketed, progress has been delayed, and has lost federal taxpayer funding.

Taxpayers will be able to voice their opinions on the tax hike to the elected members of the TRWD board on September 11 at 3:30 p.m. at the TRWD’s Administration Building, located at 800 E. Northside Drive in Fort Worth.

Robert Montoya

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