GRAYSON COUNTY, Tex. (KXII) - Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a new property tax law Wednesday designed to lower property taxes, but people in Grayson County won't see a difference.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a new property tax law designed to lower property taxes, but Grayson County won't see a difference.
Abbott says Senate Bill 2 delivers significant property tax reforms that will cap property tax increases without voter approval, and provide tax reform to homeowners and businesses across Texas.
"So what we passed was a 2.5% hard cap for schools and 3.5% for cities and counties. I wanted 2.5% across the board," said Texas State Senator Pat Fallon.
In Grayson County, the amount of taxes collected went up 5.85%, but that includes brand new properties which would be exempt from the new law.
Taking into account revenue from existing properties, tax collections were only up 2.1%, which means Grayson County would not have been affected at all by the new law.
"And what that allows us to do is to fund government with new money, not with appraisal creep," said Grayson County Judge Bill Magers.
In fact, Magers and the county commissioners lowered the rate property is taxed at by 5% last year, and by 10% each of the four years before that.
"It's going to be, again, certainty for homeowners knowing that you're not going to get 8%, 9%, 10% every year," said Fallon.
While the Commissioners Court has managed to lower the county tax rate every year, it has not been substantial enough to compensate for the increase in property values.
The new law does not change how much a home is appraised for so, in theory, property taxes can still go up.
"While I applaud the legislature for wanting to stem out of control taxes, we haven't sene that in Grayson County," said Magers.
Magers says that surplus means he and the commissioners could make room for an even bigger decrease in the tax rate for the next year, and the politicians in Austin are hinting at the same thing.
"People are working their entire lives to pay off their homes and then they have to rent it back from the government? That just not... It's fundamentally unsounds. I'm glad we advanced. This is a big step in the rigth direction, but we're not through," said Fallon.
The takeaway, Texas' landmark property reform means nothing to Grayson County taxpayers.
"The numbers are just now coming in but without growth, if we're not doing that then we're not doing our jobs for the taxpayers," said Magers.