They Shout Relief, But Where Is It?

April 19, 2022
TFR Staff
Budget Surplus, Property Tax

Despite years of desperate cries from Texas taxpayers seeking significant property tax relief, Texans are once again being reminded that our lawmakers have no real desire to help lower our property tax bills.

With stories of many Texas taxpayers experiencing as high as 120% increases in purported property values, Texans are realizing the current system is just simply not sustainable. However, if you asked a member of the Texas Legislature… they gave us historic property tax relief in 2019, what are we complaining about?

A new assessment by the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association has confirmed what Texans for Fiscal Responsibility (TFR) has been saying for years now: There has been no relief, just merely a slowing of the growth of the overall tax burdens.

Unfortunately, this has been the status quo in our great state for decades, as taxpayers have generally been content to not go after elected officials who desire to grow our government to unsustainable proportions. These results can be seen in a number of metrics, including the Texas budget, which has grown 169% since 2000, and TFR expects that after a year of runaway inflation and state lawmakers already chomping at the bit to spend a reported massive surplus, we could soon see a state budget which has tripled in size in just 25 years right here in Texas.

Does this sound like a state that is controlled by fiscal conservatives that believe in small government?

Actions always speak louder than words and our state lawmakers have made their positions abundantly clear, they have no intention of returning the reported $25 billion surplus to its rightful owners, the taxpayers. Taxpayers’ only recourse if this is the case is to force lawmakers to do the right thing. As long as taxpayers remain unwilling to engage with their local government officials and state lawmakers, while simultaneously continuing to elect career politicians that lie and deceive them to maintain power, they can only expect things to continue to get worse. Taxpayers will be taxed out of their homes. It is no longer a matter of “if” but “when”.

What Can Taxpayers Do Right Now?

The first step is to protest your appraisal. If taxpayers refused to lie down and accept the oftentimes subjected and inflated appraisals they receive from corrupt appraisal districts and instead protested, we would gum up their system worse than any bureaucrat could handle. Taxpayers should also advocate for reforms in their own party convention processes. TFR has written and is supporting resolutions to add to the Republican Party Platform for instance that would support eliminating the property tax, ending taxpayer-funded lobbying, and stopping our state budget growth in its tracks. All three of these areas directly affect the tax burden imposed upon Texans.

Taxpayers must also show up to the state capitol and advocate for real property tax reform in the next legislative session by testifying in committees, protesting, and generally making their state lawmakers uncomfortable. Moreover, if our lawmakers and elected officials refuse to provide actual tax relief, taxpayers should vote them out of office and never look back. Political change will not happen unless taxpayers are able to bring an overwhelming and destabilizing message to politicians: Get it done or get out of the way.

TFR has made it our mission to advocate for the complete elimination of the immoral and unjust property tax system and we will not stop until we have killed it completely. We are here to be a resource to taxpayers and to provide education and training to equip citizens to engage their government effectively and efficiently. We are tired of these lawmakers’ lies as much as you are, let’s do something about it together.

Sign our petition to eliminate property taxes and let your voice be heard in Austin!