Mayors of San Antonio, Austin oppose proposed tax legislation

Sen. Paul Bettencourt prefiles tax cap bill Tuesday

By Chris Shadrock - Web - News Producer

SAN ANTONIO - The mayors of San Antonio, New Braunfels, San Marcos and Austin are voicing their opposition to proposed legislation that would impose a stricter property tax revenue cap.

“City officials best understand the unique facets of their communities and should continue to have the ability to manage their budgets responsibly to provide critical services,” San Antonio Mayor Ivy R. Taylor said. “Texas officials, who often champion limited government, know that government is not one size fits all and should allow municipalities to continue to best represent their constituents.”

The proposed legislation, supported by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, would cap property taxes cities can collect at 4 percent. Currently, cities collect 16 percent.

City leaders have estimated that the cumulative impact of a 4 percent revenue cap would have cost San Antonio, Austin, San Marcos and New Braunfels more than $770 million over 10 years, while homeowners would save $2 - $3 per month.

The mayors said the true cause of high property taxes are the state’s school financing system and appraisal process.

"Texans pay the sixth-highest property tax in the nation and Texans have told us loud and clear that common-sense property tax reform legislation is long overdue,” Patrick said. “Property taxes are driving people out of their homes and hampering business expansion and growth. It's time for this to stop.”

“New Braunfels is experiencing more rapid growth than it has ever in its almost 175-year history. It’s unprecedented,” New Braunfels Mayor Barron Casteel said. “And as a region, we must work together to address the issues that don’t recognize governmental boundaries.”

The proposed legislation will be taken up during the 85th Texas legislative session, which begins Jan. 10.

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