All five members of the Harris County Commissioners Court, Democrats and Republicans alike, are proposing a property tax increase for the fiscal year 2021/2022.
Yes, you read that correctly, Republicans and Democrats. Of course, you won’t find that anywhere in the media. It’s incredible how poorly the media’s reporting is on local issues.
Democrats pitch Harris County property tax cut but Republicans want to go deeper
Complete and utter nonsense. Don’t believe me? Cool, but first take a look at the title of the Special Meeting of the Harris County Commissioners Court’s agenda:
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON TAX INCREASE
Mr. Despart’s report is fatally flawed. Here is his recap of the cost of the proposed tax increase:
Each year, Harris County sets the tax rate for the county government, flood control district, hospital district and Port of Houston; the first three together comprise an overall rate that is used to calculate each property owner’s annual tax bill.
Berry proposed an overall rate of 58.6 cents per $100 of assessed property value. This would save the owner of a home valued at $200,000 with the standard 20 percent homestead exemption $27 since their last tax bill.
The three Democrats on Commissioners Court have expressed support for that rate.
Cagle’s pitch of 57.5 cents per $100 of assessed value, which included lower county and hospital district rates, would save this same homeowner $48.
Wait a minute. A home valued at $200,000 is going to see a $27 (Democrat) or a $48 (Republican) DECREASE in taxes? Huh? Doesn’t the Public Hearing Notice state that there will be an INCREASE?
Yes it does. Because there will be. Mr. Despart conveniently ignores the increase in appraisals. The Public Hearing Notice does not ignore this. The average taxable value of a home in Harris County increased by 5.89%, so the taxable value of that formerly $200,000 home is now $211,780, which after a 20% homestead exemption leaves a taxable value of $169,424. The taxes owed on this amount will be $992.82 versus the old tax of $942.86, an increase of $49.96 or 5.3%.
Why did Mr. Despart say that there would be a tax decrease of $27 on the Democrat’s proposed rate?
The Republican increase would be $974.19 versus the old tax of $942.86, an increase of $31.33 or 3.3%.
Why did Mr. Despart say that there would be a tax decrease of $48 on the Republican’s proposed rate?
Why does no other media outlet report on the proposed tax increase?
Your guess is as good or better than mine.
More importantly, with the Republicans championing a proposed tax increase, it would be hypocritical of them to break quorum at the vote for a tax increase, as I suggested they do in 2019. Which they did and prevented a much larger tax increase. After all, now that we know they want a tax increase, it’s just a negotiation on how big it will be.
Even more importantly for anyone wanting a change in the balance of Commissioners Court, what does that do to the Republican campaign slogan next year of no new taxes? So much for that one.
Good luck guys. Hey, at least you have the Houston Chronicle on your side, right? Yeah sure, check back with me during next year’s elections.