Cap Real Estate Tax Appraisals
Currently most real property appraisals are going up 10 percent per year, which is much greater than the growth of inflation. Many people are being taxed out of their homes. Because of the skyrocketing appraisals, taxing authorities get huge tax and budget increases, much greater than the growth of inflation, without having to publicly vote to increase their tax rates. We need to cap real estate appraisals at 5% or less. We passed legislation reducing school property taxes by 1/3. However, the 1/3 reduction in property taxes will soon disappear with appraisals increasing at 10% per year.
Charlie Howard has been a leader on this key issue. Charlie was the first legislator to introduce a bill to cut property taxes. He has worked long and hard to reduce your property taxes, and his efforts bore fruit when the property tax rate was cut from $1.50 to $1.00.
Reform Tax Appraisal Boards
We need to place at least two taxpayer-elected board members on the property appraisal board for each county. Currently members of the appraisal board are selected by the taxing entities themselves -- the cities, the county MUDS and LIDS, FBISD, etc. These taxing entities have no incentive to keep their appraisals and thus your taxes low.
Replace property tax with consumption tax for financing public schools
Property taxes are not the best method to finance our schools. A consumption tax would be more equitable, and the amount of taxes generated would not be boosted by property appraisals. Other alternative methods of financing should also be investigated.
Abolish the business margins tax
I was one of the few who voted against the margins tax in the 2005 special session. The tax is not needed. We had $2.7 billion more revenue than we needed to finance the budget even after $4 billion was put in the rainy day fund. This tax unfairly taxes businesses even when they do not make a profit. It is basically a gross revenue tax.