The following is a message from Commissioner Cagle.
Tax Bill Message From Commissioner Cagle
- Written by Community Reports
As election season nears, we once again find ourselves being bombarded with misleading statements and political posturing. I write today to provide you with some facts relating to your tax bill.
As you may have heard, Commissioner Tom S. Ramsey and I declined to attend last week’s session of Commissioners Court. In doing so, we were able to deny the court the quorum needed to pass a tax rate that would have increased county property tax revenues by an estimated $325 million. By declining to attend the meeting, Commissioner Ramsey and I were able to lower that figure to an increase of $74 million.
That means that Commissioner Ramsey and I saved you, the taxpayers, $251 million in taxes next year. Some may believe that isn’t much to sacrifice for bigger government, but to me, that is a lot of your money.
I said at the time, “Now is not the time for local government to take advantage of inflated property appraisals to pay for an expanded government footprint. Now is when we should be fighting alongside taxpayers to help them dig out from under the rubble.”
I stand by that statement, and I am proud to have played a role in keeping government from increasing the tax burden on homeowners and renters already weighed down by inflation and a slowed COVID recovery.
Now some of those who had hoped to spend even more of your money are claiming that the county is undergoing “budget cuts.” This is nonsense. Commissioner Ramsey and I simply slowed the annual increase in the county's revenue. Even with this slowed rate of increase, nearly every county department should see an increase in its budget size. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office, for example, will see an increase of more than $32 million.
I don’t believe that taxpayers are fooled by cynical claims of “tax cuts” and “revenue cuts.” With the persistent annual increase in property appraisals, all most of us need to do to see the truth is to compare our property tax bill to last year’s. Sometimes it really is that simple.
I understand that there will be those who disagree with my position on this issue, but I felt it important to clarify the facts. As always, I invite your input, and I thank you for your time.
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