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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