Lawmakers hear testimony on property tax woes

Homeowners struggling with property values

PLANO - Many North Texas homeowners are fed up with property taxes that they say just keep going up.

Emily Rottenberg was one of 60 homeowners who took state lawmakers up on an opportunity to testify on rising rates.

"I feel that I am being taxed unfairly proportionate to my income," Rottenberg said.

Plano is one of seven cities in which the Senate Select Committee on Property Tax Reform & Relief is hosting hearings. They are collecting testimony as lawmakers work to draft new tax legislation during the 2017 session.

Rottenberg said she bought her house in 2010 and said that, since then, her property taxes have risen 33 percent.

"If things keep going this way I might look for somewhere cheaper to live, whether it's a different state, a different county -- those are all things that are going to factor in my decision," she said.

Texas Senator Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, is the head of the committee.

"There is a lot of emphasis on the value of your home. It's an emotional thing, people know what they paid for the value of their home,” Bettencourt said. “But, as those values go up, tax rates are supposed to go down, and they haven't been across the state.

“That's why bills have been going out of sight."

He argues that the current tax system isn't adequate -- especially when you consider how much property values have increased in many Texas cities over the last 10 years.

LINK: Frisco ISD explores cuts after voters reject tax hike

Frisco voters have already said enough is enough -- they rejected a 13-cent tax increase in August that would have benefited the local school district.

They’re complaints that these legislators have said aren't falling on deaf ears. With the start of session a little over three months away, property tax reform is expected to be a highly contested issue inside the state capitol. 

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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