Burnet County Commissioners tracking Senate Bill 2 progress

https://capitol.texas.gov
State lawmakers are considering a bill which would limit the amount of revenue local governments like cities, counties, school districts and special districts can raise before having to seek voter approval.

 

 

 

By Lew K. Cohn
Managing Editor

Burnet County commissioners say they are tracking two particular pieces of legislation with a great deal of interest, especially Senate Bill 2, which was placed on the Senate calendar for a second reading Thursday.

Commissioners discussed the ramifications of SB 2, authored by Property Tax Committee Chair Sen. Paul Bettencourt, and expressed their hope the Senate would turn down the legislation, which would limit the amount of revenue local governments like cities, counties, school districts and special districts can raise before having to seek voter approval.

SB 2 would require local governments to hold an election if they seek to collect an additional 2.5 percent or more in tax revenue from existing properties without regards to the total taxable values assigned to those properties. The cap would not apply to newly developed property just added to the county tax rolls.

The bill is being pushed in response to a promise by Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen to slow property tax increases and cap spending.

Current law allows local governments to increase their tax revenue by eight percent on existing property before becoming subject to a “rollback” election. Such an election is not automatically triggered; voters must collect enough petitions to force the issue to a ballot.

County officials, however, say increases in property valuations — which do generate additional local revenue even if tax rates are kept the same — are driven by the central appraisal districts, not the taxing entitites themselves.

They also point to an increase in unfunded mandates placed upon the counties by the state and say the increase in revenue is necessary to keep pace with increased costs for providing services to their citizens . . .

Find more on this story, including reactions from county officials, in the April 5 issue of The Highlander, the newspaper of record for the Highland Lakes. To offer a comment or send a news tip, email lew@highlandernews.com.

 

Rate this article: 
No votes yet