THE CITY OF PLANO IS FINALLY BEGINNING TO EMBRACE FISCAL POLICY MAKING THAT BETTER RESPECTS THE ECONOMIC LIBERTY OF TAXPAYERS. BUT THIS IS NOT THE TIME FOR CITIZENS TO GROW COMPLACENT
(Published by Empower Texans)
PPPB is very impressed with Connor Barron. This article by Connor perfectly explains the 2019/2020 tax rate and budget.
SEPTEMBER 4, 2019
On September 9, Plano City Council will adopt a property tax rate and budget for the next fiscal year beginning on October 1. The process has been mostly the same as it has been for years. The staff presented an overview of the budget, council members asked questions, projections for the short term were discussed, and so forth.
What’s different, however, is the tax rate currently being proposed by city staff.
For the first time in decades, the city’s proposed tax rate is the Effective Tax Rate. The Effective Tax Rate is the rate required to collect the same amount of property taxes (on existing properties) as in the prior fiscal year. In Plano’s case, that rate is $0.4482 per $100 of property valuation.
Residents’ actual tax bills are equal to this rate multiplied by their property’s assessed value. With the Effective Tax Rate, the average Plano homeowner will only pay $3 more in property taxes in the upcoming fiscal year (a 0.22 percent increase). In other words, residents will be paying roughly the same amount in property taxes as in the previous year.
Considering that the average homeowner has seen a 39.73 percent increase in his or her property taxes from 2013-14 to the present fiscal year of 2018-19, this is much-needed property tax relief.
Plano’s online budget portal breaks down the general fund into several functional areas, which are essentially categorizations of individual department budgets. To see what the general fund and other aspects of the operating budget consist of in greater detail, readers can go to the City of Plano website to access the 2019-20 recommended budget.
It is very clear that some of the fastest-growing portions of the budget are administrative in nature. Over the last five years, Finance Administration increased 91 percent, Public Works Administration is up 176 percent, and Procurement and Project Management has increased by an astounding 211 percent. There are many reasons why this occurs. Some increases in spending are justified and others are not. As such, the issue of certain spending trends and their causal budgeting decisions still needs to be addressed.
Thus, this is not the time for citizens to grow complacent. If progress is to be made and continually built, the elected representatives serving on Plano City Council need to hear from their constituents about how important it is that they deliver long-term property tax relief. The goal should be to adopt the Effective Tax Rate whenever possible, so long as doing so does not inhibit the City of Plano from adequately performing its core functions.
As repeatedly witnessed in recent years, an engaged and well-informed citizenry can make a great difference in their local community. For now, it appears Plano is on the verge of hopefully one of many victories in the movement to forge a new standard of governance that better serves its people.