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Radio Address - Property Tax Relief

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Radio Address - April 28, 2004

Gov. Rick Perry
Date: April 28, 2004
Topic: Property Tax Relief

My Fellow Texans…

Since 1999, total statewide property taxes have increased by an average of 10.4 percent each year… more than twice the combined rate of growth for inflation and population.

But Texans have not only seen their property tax rates rise, they have also been victimized by a property appraisal system that too often seems arbitrary, cumbersome, unfair and unaccountable.

I am here to say enough is enough: We must learn from past experience that it is not good enough to provide property tax relief. We must also provide appraisal relief.

I want to make sure that any property tax we pass in Austin is just that: a real property tax cut.
First, we need to cap appraisal growth on Texas homesteads at 3 percent each year.

The median value of a Texas home is just under $129,000. The annual property tax bill on that home is just over $3,500.
Under current law, even without a property tax rate hike, Texas homeowners could see their bill increase $350 in one year
alone.

It's a phenomenon called appraisal creep, but it nothing less than a tax hike by any other name.

Second, we must place a cap on the annual growth in property taxes that local governments are able to collect.
We will allow property taxes for cities, counties, schools and special taxing districts to grow in proportion to their population and inflation. But any increase in taxes beyond growth and inflation must be approved by voters.

Our goal should not only be to cut, cap and control property taxes, but to also empower voters to make the final choice in the matter.

It's time to give taxpayers a voice in the education debate. It's time to make sure any property tax relief is real.

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