Property taxes are one of the most confusing systems that taxpayers are tasked with understanding in Texas.
The system itself is purposely complicated, with lawmakers changing definitions and the state Tax Code nearly every two years, it is nearly impossible for the average taxpayer to keep up. Fortunately, there are some lawmakers attempting to make confusing tax systems understandable for the average Texan.
Thursday, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility (TFR) taxpayer champion, State Rep.Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler) shared 10 facts on Twitter that we feel could be very helpful for Texas taxpayers to know.
— Matt Schaefer (@RepMattSchaefer) April 27, 2022
These are extremely helpful facts about property taxes that most taxpayers should find to serve them well.
As many of our subscribers know, TFR has been advocating for the elimination of property taxes for well over a year now. Recently we have published content aimed at helping Texas taxpayers through the appraisal and protest process. It is shameful that these items must be explained as they seem to be intentionally confusing in an effort to dissuade Texans from protesting their taxes to get a lower bill.
TFR finds all of these facts helpful but specifically the most often missed fact is the concept of the “No New Revenue Rate”. This is the rate that local entities should set to bring in the same amount of revenue as last year. If appraisals go up, obviously, this would result in more revenue for the local government. However, as noted in Schaefer’s post, this rate is set after all appraisals are finalized. This gives the local entities time to do the right thing, which is to lower their tax bill. It also gives homeowners time to get involved in the process by attending these rate-setting meetings and speaking against rate hikes, even going so far as to encourage local government officials to lower tax burdens!
If you are a taxpayer who just received your tax bill and find yourself angry about your appraisal, you should set your mind to attend these meetings in your city and demand they lower rates and tax burdens to help homeowners suffering inflated home prices. You can also use this time to speak against property taxes in general and suggest we abolish this immoral and unfair way of taxing Texans. This is precisely what TFR has been advocating for over the past year.
Remember that we elect the school boards and local officials that set our rates, if your local government has failed to lower your tax rates we suggest voting against them and removing them from office, and replacing them with fiscal conservatives that will. Consider that any bonds that you vote for will raise your taxes in the I & S portion of property tax formula. We strongly suggest voting against all bonds until lawmakers are willing to reform our broken tax system. The only people who pay for the debt that local governments advocate for are you the taxpayer.
An educated and active electorate is the only defense against the unaccountable local governments that have caused this property tax crisis. TFR encourages you to get involved, or better yet run for office. As always we are here to be a resource to you and help in any way that we can.