Replace Property Taxes With a Reformed Sales Tax

Replace Property Taxes With a Reformed Sales Tax
By Allen Tharp

By Allen Tharp

Many Texans, especially Texas politicians, love to tout the superior economic conditions that exist in Texas as a result of lower state taxes. One thing they rarely mention though are the high property taxes. Texas ranks as the sixth highest property tax state at an average of 1.90%: Median Property Tax Paid on Homes: $2,510, Median Home Value: $132,000.

Other high property tax states besides Texas are New Jersey and Illinois.

Home and business owners in Texas are forced to pay a disproportionate share of tax revenue merely because they own property. Those who are not property owners obviously pay no property taxes, thus leaving all funding of schools and local government to property owners. This is a blatantly unfair system that must be changed.

The change we need is that property taxes should be abolished in favor of a reformed sales tax. This will broaden the tax base, bring equity to the system, make tax increases easier to identify, remove the subjectivity of the appraisal system, and allow property owners the right to own their property rather than paying perpetual rent to the government.

Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) estimates an expanded sales tax of 7.35 percent—including a one-time levy on property transactions—could yield as much revenue as the current property tax.

The time to make this change is now.  Lt. Governor Dan Patrick says, “Runaway property taxes must stop.” To thank him for his proactive stand on this issue you can tweet at @LtGovTX or email at Dan.Patrick@ltgov.texas.gov.

Senator Paul Bettencourt is Chairing the Senate Select Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief. Senator Bettencourt is commited to real property tax reform. To thank him and let him know you want to abolish property taxes and replace them with a reformed sales tax, you can contact him at Paul.Bettencourt@texas.senate.gov. Find other contact info for Senator Bettencourt here.

Allen Tharp is President of the San Antonio Tea Party.

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7 Responses to "Replace Property Taxes With a Reformed Sales Tax"

  1. Pingback: Texas-sized property appraisals fuel tax-swap talk - Watchdog.org

  2. Milton Turner  May 5, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Correction on my post below (Milton Turner). I got carried away, I did not SUE anyone but I did file a complaint with the State Comptroller over how the arbitration situation went down. The arbitrator was terminated from that position but I doubt the State Comptroller did anything to effect that..

    Comments on other posts:

    WE the people need to look at how crooked the current system is. Yes there may be details in who pays the tax…for example, why don’t renters who really pay by proxy the property taxes get a homestead exemption that lowers their rent, it is their primary ‘home’ isn’t it? The property owner is essentially being forced to collect taxes for the Appraisal district…as businesses are forced to collect the sales tax for the State…with NO compensation!

    Bottom line, we are being used and abused by own OWN government at all levels. It’s time for a total RESET and get rid of all the crooked and mostly illegal activities at all levels of government.

  3. Pedro Lomax  May 5, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Being punished for owning something (a right) makes absolutely no sense in a society that (is supposed to) believe in individuals’ rights to private property. All taxes should be abolished in favor of the Fair Tax (consumption tax). The simpler the tax code, the smaller the government bureaucracy would be needed to administer it, so this idea in and of itself would necessitate smaller government.

  4. Bill Crumrine  May 4, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    In 2000 A.D. I worked temporarily for the Bexar Appraisal District. The bullshit waste and waste of time that takes place in any government entity is beyond imagination. At one point, I had 42 ledger sheets of the same address, “…because of a computer malfunction.” The average was 19 ledger sheets per address, whereas the normally run was three per address. People gabbed about every-thing, but work related subjects. Each person had two 15-20 minute breaks (one in the morning and one in the afternoon, besides a full hour or so for lunch. Now mind you, I had 35 years of private enterprise work experience. To say I was appalled would be to say the least. Government workers receive pay well beyond what the average privately employed worker will ever see. To me the best thing that could happen to this nation is to dissolve all city, county, state, and federal governments.

  5. Chesley  May 4, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Many people don’t realize that CPS profits go to the city which allows the city to spend more and not raise taxes. It makes the council look good while the utilites raise their fees. I believe saws profits go to city also but not sure.

  6. Ray Callahan  May 4, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Allen, I completely disagree with one of your points. You stated that people that do not own property “do not pay property taxes”. That is completely false. Renters do indeed pay property taxes. The owner of the property pays higher taxes than a home owner pays because the owner does not get a homestead exemption. I am a property owner that rents to others and my taxes are much higher because I can not claim a homestead exemption on that rental property. In order to be able to rent, I have to include the higher tax rate in my rental charges which, then, the renter pays. So, indeed, the renter that does not own the property is, in fact, paying the property tax at a much higher rate than I do with my personal home. You need to get your “facts” right before posting something like you did. I am not opposed to some form of national sales tax, to replace the income tax, but this is not one I support.

    And as to business owners, don’t you think that their customers pay the business tax in the cost of the goods and services the business incur? Sure they do, so that part of your comment is also false.

    Now, I do support lower property taxes, but the only way to do that is to reduce the size of government. I have never met a politician that has worked to reduce the size of any government, local, state or national. To accomplish lower taxes at any level, we must elect conservatives that will actually do that, not just talk about it. How we accomplish that, I have no idea. Nothing seems to work after they get into office.

    I lived in California when Ronald Reagan was governor. He campaigned on lowering the property tax rate and Prop 13 did that. The only problem was that there was no prevision to restrict the value of property, so the local appraisal districts started raising the property values to match the tax rate the local politicians wanted, thereby negating the limit on the tax rate. In the end, property values went through the roof and the local taxing authorities got more money than before and the people got the shaft.

    The only way to reduce the taxes we home and property owners have to pay is to limit the size of government. I’m not holding my breath for that to happen and I question if there are enough angry residents in Bexar county and San Antonio to make that happen.

  7. Milton Turner  May 4, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    I have been protesting property taxes for my home and business for years.
    The real problem with the current is not what is mentioned above but how the appraisal districts:
    1. Cherry Pick Comparables for your property. They pick higher valued buildings that most often are recently fixed up to sell…they your property value goes up to that level when in fact you haven’t done any of the same work…so much for real comperables.
    2. Cut insider deals for those connected to the appraisal process. Several years ago the Chief Appraiser’s house was reduced in value by over $30,000…by an appraiser that WORKED FOR HIM! Their claim that there was an arms length relationship was total BS. Other situations allowed appraisers to factiously apply a value to a property based on what is called ‘best use’ The residence was appraised as though it were a business building and stuck the owner with a very high appraisal and he knew nothing about HOW they did it (until I told him).
    3. Properties in the same area appraised differently. The TX constitution requires all appraisals to be fair and equal. It’s the equal part the appraisal districts ignore. Check out values in your neighborhood, you’ll be amazed how they are NOT equal.
    4. Appraisal board members and appraisers ARE IN BED together to cheat you, it’s obvious when you go to various hearings…they take the appraisers words as gospel and question you like you are a criminal. I had an arbitration hearing a few years ago where the arbitrator was a real estate appraiser. It became obvious to me, then verified after checking licenses and who he worked for the whole thing was a setup…he agreed with the Appraisal District because on the side HE WORKED FOR THEM! I had to sue to get it all worked out! The State Comptroller who regulates these people did nothing!

    I could go on and on about my experiences but the bottom line is they are all crooks acting like good govt. employees…NOT SO.

    This initiative would take all the power and corruption OUT of the process and they would have to find REAL JOBS!

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