As Plano City Council prepares to raise taxes, again, one citizen is holding council members accountable for their campaign promises to taxpayers.
Council is set to vote tonight on a final budget and property tax rate for the 2018-19 fiscal year. The city’s proposed tax rate is $0.46 per $100 of assessed valuation — two cents higher than the “effective tax rate” of $0.44. The effective rate would raise the same amount of tax revenue from the same properties taxed last year and keep taxpayers’ property tax bills steady amid rising property values. Any rate higher than the effective rate is a tax increase.
Local taxpayer Suzanne Blackstone asked on Facebook today if city officials will “keep their promise” to reduce the burden on Plano taxpayers. Others, including some council members, may have forgotten those promises, but Blackstone hasn’t:
Kayci Prince will “help reduce the tax burden on Plano families.”
Rick Smith will “reduce our effective tax rate to provide property tax relief to the taxpayers of Plano.”
Ron Kelley said his “vision reflects fiscal responsibility for Plano’s future” and that he will restore the “citizens of Plano to the top of the city’s organization chart.”
Anthony Ricciardelli will “decrease the tax burden on Plano families” and “decrease the tax rate enough to offset the increase in property valuations.”
Tom Harrison said his “intention is to continue to question tax issues and justify spending.”
And Mayor Harry “knows rapid property valuations are hurting our pocketbooks.”
The average homeowner in Plano has seen a 36-percent increase in their city tax bill in five years. Last year, the mayor and a majority of the council voted 6-2 to impose a $12 million city tax increase on Plano taxpayers. Only Harrison and Ricciardelli opposed the increase.
This year’s budget and tax rate will raise more total property taxes than last year’s by $13.6 million, a 7.4-percent increase.
Tonight’s council meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. in the council chambers at 1520 K Avenue in Plano.