Gov. Greg Abbott signed a new law designed to put a cap on property tax growth and Mayor Dan Pope said there are benefits, but also concerns.
“I think the positives of that are property tax reform.” said Mayor Pope, “I think taxpayers will better understand their property tax bills. There’s more transparency there. Not only is it easier to understand, the process to appeal their property tax evaluation will be much easier.”
Senate Bill 2 signed by Gov. Abbott Wednesday requires cities and counties to get taxpayer approval before it can raise the property tax revenue beyond 3.5% from the previous year. Mayor Pope said he’s concerned about the tax cap and doesn’t know how it’ll play out for Lubbock.
“Historically, that’s not an issue for us,” he said, “To me, I’m not sure if it’s great public policy. I don’t know how the state can grow their budget at 7 or 8% a year, but as cities and counties to grow theirs at 3.5%. But we’ll see.”
Lubbock Rep. Dustin Burrows authored the bill in part and said this is meaningful reform. He said it gives people a voice.
“Could you imagine if 85..If half of the 85% of people who showed up to protest their appraised value actually went to town hall to protest their taxes?” Burrows said.
The new law will work together with the school finance bill, which includes around 5 billion dollars to buy down property taxes.
Mayor Pope said they’ve always spent tax money with Lubbock residents in mind and they’ll keep it that way.
“Like it was our own money,” Pope said, “Because it is, and we do that every day. We work hard on being physically accountable and responsible.”
The 3.5% limit goes into effect next year.