Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

After reading your August 12th article, that reported the city proposed a tax rate just 3/10th of one penny below this year’s rate, while the Herald Banner has reported the County rate is almost 4 cents below and GISD is almost 5 cents below last year, every taxpayer should ask…………. WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON?

According to the article, only District 2 Council Representative Al Atkins spoke up to get the tax rate LOWERED.  At that meeting, he asked for a mid 59 cent range, STILL TWO cents above the No New Revenue Tax Rate.

We were told that all the recently passed city bonds would not increase the tax rate.  While technically true, I consider it part of a misleading bait and switch, when rising  property values and total tax revenue are considered.  The city has a current tax rate of 61.5 cents.

The City Manager is asking for 61.2 cents AND the No New Revenue Rate is

57.7 cents. Simple math shows the City GETS close to $900,000 of NEW MONEY, that we the taxpayers, have to come up with from property taxes. This PROPERTY TAX REVENUE DOES NOT INCLUDE the city’s record receipts from sales tax and new development tax revenue.

Remember … The Hunt County Appraisal District only places a value on your property.  It does not tell your elected officials how much money they should collect and spend.  It is the elected officials of each taxing entity who make that decision.

I want to stress that taxing entities should stop the practice of blaming the Hunt County Appraisal District for increases in your property taxes.  It is your elected officials who set their own budgets and tax rates.  Each entity’s budget and tax rate determine your yearly property tax bill.  Special thanks to Hunt County Judge Bobby Stovall, the Hunt County Commissioners and GISD for understanding this concept and substantially adjusting their tax rates lower this year, to compensate for the rise in property values.

PLEASE plan to attend and speak at the Public Hearing on the City’s tax rate, at 6:00 p.m., on August 24th, at the City Council Meeting.  If you decide to not attend and to not speak up, do not complain about your City property taxes.  REMEMBER … all you have to state on the microphone is your name, address and that “My city taxes are just too high.  What the heck is going on?”

James Evans

Greenville

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