Burnet County, Marble Falls school officials concerned by SB 2 passage

By Lew K. Cohn
Managing Editor

Local county and school officials were less than pleased this week with the passage of a Texas Senate bill that caps the amount property taxes can be increased without requiring voter approval.

Senate Bill 2, which limits the amount of revenue local governments like cities, counties, school districts and special districts can raise before having to seek voter approval, was passed Monday, April 15, by an 18-12 vote, with state Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway, casting her vote in favor of the measure, which now moves to the junior chamber for approval.

As a fighter for fiscally responsible limited government, I support low taxes, minimal government intrusion into our daily lives, and making sure government serves citizens, not the other way around. It is well known that our current property tax system too often places an undue burden on property owners. That is why I am proud to support Senate Bill 2, which has passed the Senate,” Buckingham said.

In addition to providing residents of all taxing jurisdictions with an opportunity for a lower rollback rate, Senate Bill 2 includes requiring automatic rollback elections on the uniform election date, and prevents an appraisal review board from increasing an assessed value of their property during a protest hearing.”

Buckingham's support of Senate Bill 2 runs contrary to the positions of Burnet County Judge James Oakley and Marble Falls ISD superintendent Dr. Chris Allen, whose jurisdictions collect the most property taxes locally.

I think it’s unfortunate that some state leaders claim victory in achieving property tax reform when (1) school finance still includes recapture (Robin Hood) such that Burnet County property taxpayers are funding school districts in other parts of the state, and (2) there is no consideration for the state's unfunded mandates passed down to Texas’ counties,” Oakley said. “Programs like state mandated indigent health care and legal defense are among the top expenses to local taxpayers. . .

Find more on this story in the Friday, April 19 issue of The Highlander, the newspaper of record for the Highland Lakes. To offer a comment or news tip, email lew@highlandernews.com.


Rate this article: 
No votes yet