As I noted here, the Harris County Commissioners Court is proposing a substantial increase in our property taxes. I also laid out a way for the two Republicans on the court, Commissioner Steve Radack and Commissioner Jack Cagle, to block it if they wish. But I suspected that they would not, preferring to use it as an issue in next year’s election. And certainly in 2022. After receiving an email from HRBC, I’m pretty confident that I’m right.
HRBC launches new website prior to October 8th Harris County Commissioner vote on potential property tax rate increase
Check how this may affect you at yourharriscountytaxes.com
HRBC has launched a website for Harris County residents to check how this property tax rate increase may affect them directly. At yourharriscountytaxes.com, users can look up their current property value then calculate how much more they will pay in Harris County Property Taxes if the new rate of $0.65260 per $100 valuation is adopted.
“HRBC believes in smart, fiscally conservative legislative changes,” said Alan Hassenflu, HRBC Chairman. “We cannot stand behind this property tax rate increase. The County doesn’t require these funds to maintain its core services. This is negligent, and we vehemently oppose this tax rate increase.”
In less than two weeks, the Harris County Commissioners Court will vote to adopt a new property tax rate. After the County was given three options, County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Commissioner Rodney Ellis, and Commissioner Adrian Garcia voted for the option with the largest increase; one that could be as much as a 12% increase including the rise in property values.
“The County has completely failed to communicate any clear reasoning for the first tax increase in twenty years,” said Richard Rothfelder, HRBC PAC Treasurer. “Harris County’s growth and economic expansion has provided billions of dollars annually in tax revenues; this misguided tax increase will hurt future growth and economic expansion.”
The mission of HRBC is to support public policy, elected officials, and candidates for elected office that promote our core values of limited government, capitalism, and private property rights. Known as Houston’s premier business coalition, HRBC is made up of a wide variety of businessmen and women located in the Houston area.
The website they created is not accurate, as it gives everyone a generic 12% increase. Your actual increase will depend upon your appraisal increase. In my case, my Harris County property taxes will increase by 9.6%, a substantial increase but below the 12% listed. As I mentioned in the first post about this, I don’t have a clue as to whether or not the county needs the money because the county budget is so complex it is hard to decipher.
So, I have to trust the TaxMan on this.
Taxpayers are being "Taxed to the Max" in Harris Co. The average homeowner with a taxable value of $179,660 will see an estimated 12% tax increase, or roughly $131 more, from last years tax bill. Read more here: https://t.co/wj41yQyCls #txlege @ktrhnews @Lina4HC @HarrisCountyRP
— Team Bettencourt (@TeamBettencourt) September 19, 2019
It does seem excessive. And it is important to note that Commissioner Cagle offered a compromise raising the tax rate of only the flood control district. It was rejected by the Democrats on the court.
But the fact remains that the two Republicans on the court can block the increase. I know that some people want to use a “Democratic” tax increase to win an election but why not kill it when you can? As they say, the best time to kill a snake is when the hoe is in your hand. Take the heat from the media for missing a meeting, spread the word far and wide that Republicans are against excessive tax increases, and win elections on principles and policy. That’s what I’d do.
Stop the slander against County Judge Lina Hidalgo
Speaking of winning elections, I’d advise Republicans of all stripes to stop the personal insults against Lina Hidalgo. It’s sickening watching the nonsense that the grassroots and some elected officials are saying about her. Calling her ‘tiny’, ‘diminutive’, ‘little child’, ‘not so bright crayon in the box’, ‘Dora the Exploer’, and any other name is not going to win elections.
I was talking to one of the Republican consultants in Harris County and I thought that the percentage of female voters in 2020 would be 52-53%. The consultant thinks it will be as high as 55%. Is it a winning strategy to personally insult Judge Hidalgo with misogynistic comments?
Look, I get it. I was a huge supporter of Ed Emmett. He had a calming presence because of his experience. Judge Hidalgo has no experience and it does show from time to time. And I disagree with the vast majority of her policies. But she is in fact very, very bright. And as she gains experience in the public limelight, she will be better at communicating with us during times of emergencies. I’ll still be on the other side of her policies but I have no doubt about this.
Fight with her on policy. Block the tax increase. Stop the slander.
I’ll leave you with Commissioner Jack Cagle’s comment at the last public hearing:
‘When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.’ -Socrates.