Wednesday, May 27, 2020

#TXLEGE: Republicans "Shocked" to find local officials Exploiting Loopholes (That THEY Created)

"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap."
Galatians 6:7

DALLAS - Home and property owners in Dallas may pay for the pandemic with higher taxes.

The Dallas City Council is considering an increase of up to 8%.

That would make up for the loss of millions in sales tax revenue this year and next year, especially after many businesses shut down.

The state law that limits property tax increases has an exception for emergencies like natural disasters.
[Note: They've yet to make it official, but Austin is widely expected to follow.]

The Galveston County judge is calling on the governor to freeze 2020 property appraisals at 2019 levels because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Mark Henry, the county judge, wrote Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday requesting the property assessment freeze “so local families don’t get hit with an additional economic burden” during the global pandemic. Galveston County Central Appraisal District officials said the vast majority of county properties saw an increase in value in 2020, which would lead to higher property taxes.
Of course, this is "outrageous." And you should be "outraged." Just like Texas' statewide GOP "leadership" is outraged:

Lest we forget:
County Judge Mark Henry, who recently asked Gov. Greg Abbott to use his disaster powers to freeze property values at 2019 levels, was quoted in the Galveston County Daily News as saying Bonnen has been “hiding behind his keyboard.” Henry added that he’s glad the speaker chose to not seek reelection. That was after Bonnen said Judge Henry’s property values proposal is a “horrible idea.”

There’s apparently been bad blood between the two of them for some time, which shouldn’t surprise anyone given the escalating tensions between state and local governments. Bonnen, as quoted in the Daily News, said “My valuation doesn’t cost me one penny in property tax, his tax rate does.”
To be fair, the Dallas and Galveston county stories are kinda/sorta different.  What ties them together is that local officials are raising taxes within the bounds of state law as currently written.  Like it or not, the law is on the locals side.

This is especially true in the case of what Dallas is doing:

[Note: The phrase "in the manner provided for a special taxing unit" is the part that permits them to go up to 8 percent.]

Both of these situations were completely preventable.  Abbott, Patrick, and Bonnen chose to not prevent them.  To hear the Texas GOP caterwauling now, however, does remind us of a movie reference:

Bottom Line: They have nobody to blame except themselves.

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