TFR calls on legislature to enact reforms - Texas Scorecard

AUSTIN, Texas – Announced on Tuesday were the recommendations of the Governor’s Task Force on Appraisal Reform. The president of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility said that if enacted the recommendations will empower taxpayers and promote a healthy economy.

“The recommendations boil down to giving taxpayers a stronger voice in the decisions affecting their families and their livelihood, and in turn drive a stronger economy,” said Michael Quinn Sullivan. “Gov. Perry and the task force have brought forward sensible recommendations that benefit all Texans.”

Among the recommendations from the task force are ideas such as limits on revenue increases, changes to the composition of the appraisal board, stopping unfunded mandates, and a constitutional amendment to lower the appraisal cap.

Sullivan said the Legislature’s top priority should be to limit the revenue increases of government entities. The task force is recommending a 5 percent limit on property tax revenue growth; any increase beyond that would trigger a popular vote.

“By limiting the revenue increases government can take without voter approval, lawmakers ensure greater levels of fiscal responsibility and accountability,” he said. “It is difficult to understand how anyone can reasonably oppose greater involvement by taxpayers in determining the size of government operating over them. Elected officials must determine the way the pie is sliced, but taxpayers should be asked for permission to expand the growth of that pie.”

Sullivan praised the recommendation calling for an end to the unfunded mandates handed down from Austin.

“It would have been hypocritical to call for property tax relief, and yet not acknowledge the role the state has played in driving up the costs of local government. Reducing unfunded mandates will give taxpayers a better understanding of how the costs of government increase, and who is responsible.”