20% of School Districts Ask for Tax Hike

Blog / August 28, 2008

Well, it seems as though school districts are subscribing to the old idea that if the current system isn’t working just throw some money at it, that’ll solve the problem!

Not so fast. Check these stats out:

Since the Texas Legislature mandated property tax relief in 2006, the number of districts asking voters to raise property taxes has grown to about 230 — roughly 20 percent of districts statewide, according to TexasISD.com, which tracks the tax elections.

I attended one of the property tax and appraisal hearings that was held at the McAllen Convention Center and the people there spoke for themselves…TAXES ARE TOO HIGH. Most saying "you’re taxing us out of the American Dream!"

State Rep. Dan Branch, a lead author of the bill requiring the tax cuts, said it is working as intended: Districts must call elections if they want more money than the state-mandated maximum tax rate generates.

"This is what was anticipated," Branch, R-Dallas, said of the upcoming tax elections. "What was not necessarily anticipated was that we would have a spike in inflation."

Nueces County approved a tax hike:

The court also approved tax rates that amount to a 7 percent tax hike because rates are higher than the county’s effective tax rate, a truth-in-taxation tool governments are required by state law to provide to help taxpayers understand their elected officials’ taxing decisions.

The City of McAllen kept their tax rate steady…:

McAllen City Commissioners, citing sound fiscal management and pro-growth policies, voted not to raise property tax rate and to keep its tax rate steady for the 10th straight year.


The vote holds the City of McAllen property tax rate at .42 cents per $100 of property evaluation.

McAllen’s strong position in the retail sector, which provides for 47 percent of the city’s budget, helps keep property taxes low for residents. McAllen, despite not being very a large city, ranks 7th among Texas’ most profitable retail markets – something City Commissioners, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and the McAllen Economic Development Corporation focus their strategies.

McAllen has been careful with its growth strategies, working collaboratively with other cities and Mexico to ensure the city continues to be a regional destination for retail, business and tourism. McAllen continues to be a job-growth leader in Texas and has experienced its lowest unemployment rates ever.


Just sayin’….maybe conservative budgeting and good strategic economic development are the key here.