Lower property taxes in Sherman?

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SHERMAN, Tex. -- Lowering property taxes is one of the items on the agenda at Tuesday night's Sherman city council meeting. We spoke with councilmen and homeowners, who both seem to be on the same page concerning the proposed plan.

Sherman residents we spoke with say they're thrilled with the new idea of shifting the burden of property taxes from the homeowner to local shoppers.

Otis Brown says his property taxes increase around ten percent every other year.

"They’re way too high. I built this house about six years ago, and they gave me an estimated taxes on it, and by the time they completed the house and moved in, it was about two-thirds higher."

That's why Sherman leaders are proposing two measures. One would increase sales tax by one-eighth of a cent; the other would lower property taxes by 10 percent.

If passed in combination, the measures would decrease city taxes by a total of twenty percent and would increase sales taxes around thirteen cents for every $100 shoppers spend.

"Approximately 55 percent of sales taxes are paid by people outside of Sherman it's good way to give citizens that live here a benefit," Sherman city councilman Chip Adami.

Shoppers like Joyce Bruce make the drive from Oklahoma to shop at Sherman Town Center because she says she likes to take advantage of low taxes on groceries.

"They’ve got a bigger variety. You may spend ten dollars in gas and save $30 in taxes by coming this far. When you’re on a fixed income, you gotta do what you got to do."

Leaders say they will make the proposals at Monday night’s meeting. If both pass, Brown's property taxes, which total around $2,500 a year should go down by $100.

"I think I, as well as any other tax paying property owner, would love to see a decrease"

If both measures are approved by the city council, residents will get a chance to vote on those measures in November. If passed, both the sales increase and property decrease would go into effect the beginning of 2008.

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