Last Call for Texas Taxpayers: Final Chance to Challenge Rising Taxes and Local Spending

September 6, 2023
Andrew McVeigh
88th Legislative Session, Local Budgets, Local Government, Property Tax, Spending

Every year in August and September, Local Governments across the Lone Star State set about the task of proposing and then adopting their tax rates and budgets for the next year.

Last month, TFR reminded Texas taxpayers about the impending local government proceedings to set property tax rates, and to adopt a budget for the new fiscal year.

Just a few weeks later, many localities had made their proposals, and as was expected, property taxes across the State are going up. 

Out of the seven major counties and seven major cities that we surveyed, only one local government (Tarrant County) was proposing to actually lower the tax burden, and only one entity (the City of El Paso) was proposing to adopt a No New Revenue Rate, to keep the burden on taxpayers the same from last year. 

That means for millions of Texans across the State, property taxes are on the verge of going up. 

For some, however, there is still a chance to get involved in this process and make a difference. 

While many local governments have made official proposals for tax rates and budget spending, some have yet to officially adopt them. 

That’s where you come in. 

If your local government, such as your city or county, has yet to adopt their proposals, make plans to attend their public hearings on the matter, voice your concerns, and demand that local officials turn the ship around before it’s too late. 

Below are a few major local governments that have public hearings coming up in the very near future.

Bexar County

  • Public budget work sessions are tentatively scheduled for September 6th and September 11th. The budget and tax rates are scheduled to be officially adopted on Tuesday, September 12th at 9 a.m.  More info can be found here and here.

Lubbock County

  • A public meeting to adopt the proposed budget will be held on September 11th at 10:45 a.m. More info can be found here and here.

Harris County 

  • Harris County is set to officially propose new property tax rates on September 12th and adopt the proposed rates on September 19th. More info can be found here and here.

Fort Worth 

  • A public hearing on the city’s proposed tax rate will be held on Tuesday, September 19th at 5 p.m. The meeting will take place in the City Council Chambers, located within City Hall, at 200 Texas Street. More info can be found here.

San Antonio 

  • A public hearing on the proposed tax rate will be held on Thursday, September 7th at 9 a.m. A public meeting to vote on the proposed tax rate will be held on September 14th at 9 a.m. Both hearings will be held in the Council Chamber at 105 Main Plaza. More info can be found here.

This is just a sampling. There are hundreds of counties and cities across the State that are on the brink of raising your property taxes and increasing their spending once again. 

Of course, much of this headache could have been avoided if the Texas State Legislature had acted to prevent local governments from raising taxes and spending without voter approval (through passing HB 2258 by State Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park), or HB 2220 by State Rep. Brian Harrison (R-Midlothian), neither of which even received a hearing), but that is the subject of another conversation. 

If you want to get involved and fight for lower taxes and spending in your local area, this is your last chance.

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