A Mansfield couple has seen their property tax bill rise nearly $1,200 since they purchased their home five years ago.

Robbin and Andy Hallford bought their home in 2013 for $226,000 and have seen its value increase to $295,106 in 2017. Expected to rise again this year, the Hallfords, along with Texans across the state, are frustrated with the greater share of their income going to property taxes.

One set of the Hallfords’ parents living in Oklahoma expressed a desire to move closer to their grandchildren but decided against it out of concern for a property tax bill that could be double what they currently pay.

In some areas in the state, property tax bills are up 40 percent or more since 2010, while population growth averages about 15 percent.

Specifically, in Fort Worth, property tax revenue is up 30 percent from 2010-2018, while population increased only 17.9 percent during that time.

A look at the city’s budget shows that spending has outpaced growth, including a whopping 208.6 percent increase in “economic development” outlays. The fire budget rose 38.1 percent, police 34.7 percent, and transportation 13.1 percent.

Another Fort Worth area resident and retired widow, Stacy Fuller, was forced to sell the home she had owned since 1958 because of rising property taxes. She relocated to far east Texas where her property tax bill dropped from $4,400 to $475. Now she has no choice but to make the four-hour drive to see her great-grandchildren.

For working-class Texans, these trends cannot continue. The state legislature will have a new opportunity to restrain the growth of local property taxes when they convene in mere months. High on the agenda will be property tax relief, with related measures having been defeated in recent sessions by outgoing speaker Joe Straus and house leadership.

Salvador Ayala

Sal is the Budget & Policy Analyst for Empower Texans. He has been a committed proponent of American founding principles since 2007, shortly after receiving his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law. Before joining Empower Texans, he served as legislative director for Rep. Matt Rinaldi in the Texas house and was a delegate to the 2012 RNC. In his leisure, Sal enjoys live music, digital photography, guitar, bicycling, trivia, and documentary films.