Representative Carl Isett is pushing for a "Truth in Taxation" measure with a bill filed this week. It's an idea designed to keep your taxes down and elected officials in check.. Truth in Taxation is something that's been on Isett's agenda for years.
Last month Councilmen Boren and Mayor McDougal sat by the Governor's side during the State of the State address and he honored them for their work on the issue. Now Truth in Taxation is steadily gaining steam state-wide. Boren says, "What's been going on is all the taxing entities across the state of Texas are allowing the appraisal office to become the new tool of the government to tax you." Isett says, "I don't know how they can look you in the eye and say 'I didn't raise your taxes' when the amount of your check to them got bigger."
Governor Endorses Truth in Taxation
Governor Perry visited the Hub City to applaud efforts at controlling appraisal hikes.
Isett and Boren agree. If any taxing entity is going to take in more money due to an increase in property appraisals, and that amount exceeds 3%, it has to go to the voters first. The concept may sound complex, but it can be broken down to this: cities get a certain amount of tax money based on property value. If property values go up, so does the money as long at the tax rate stays the same. Boren says, "Every decision needs to be local but the state mandates the process and the rules. We've got to change the process and rules to make sure when appraisals go up, the tax rate by law goes down."
Lubbock City Council has been following that law in the interest of tax relief for the past two years. Speaking about the recognition they got from the Governor in Austin, Isett says, "I was as proud as anyone in Lubbock to see them up there. They are doing the right thing. They recognized the problem and have political courage to address the problem. It is interesting what a minority they are in among city elected officials." Boren says, "It's called 'let the sun shine in.' You shouldn't have any local government taking any of your money without the public recoreded vote of elected officials."
Truth in taxation continues to be a hot topic in Austin. Councilman Boren made a presentation to the House Ways and Means Committee Thursday concerning the issue.