Cut Property Taxes Dramatically Now!

RECEIVED Tue., Feb. 1, 2005

Dear Editor,
   It's a fact that during the past five years home property taxes have skyrocketed up as high as 400% in Texas. While many elected officials recognize the problem, the governor and legislators are pushing for a mere one-third reduction, which at least is better than the piddly 12% reduction sought during last year's legislative session. In addition, they again are pushing for a tax cap of 3% based on appraisals. Both these proposals won't help homeowners nor local governments very much.
   At least a 50% decrease in property taxes is required to provide realistic relief to overburdened homeowners, and the cap on local tax increases would better be applied to placing a cap on and/or lowering the tax rate instead. Placing a cap on home values manipulates the real estate market and should not be an option. In addition, each of these proposals help the wealthy more than others.
   Once again officials want to provide "too little, too late" to hard-working Texas families. Once again Texans are asked to "be patient" and that further reductions in property taxes may appear "down the road." Would that be the toll road plan currently being pushed through?
   Taxpayers already have gone this route with home insurance and medical malpractice issues without seeing any savings. How many more foreclosures are needed to persuade elected officials that there really is a property tax crisis and that homeowners need additional tax relief now?
Jim McDermitt
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