Rolling Back Property Taxes in Texas: A Critique of the Arguments Brought Forth by Various Organizations against Lowering the Property Tax Rollback Rate in the Lone Star State

By Garcia, Mikael | Texas Review of Law & Politics, Spring 2019 | Go to article overview

Rolling Back Property Taxes in Texas: A Critique of the Arguments Brought Forth by Various Organizations against Lowering the Property Tax Rollback Rate in the Lone Star State


Garcia, Mikael, Texas Review of Law & Politics


(ProQuest: ... denotes formula omitted.)

When a government has ceased to protect the lives, liberty and property of the people, from whom its legitimate powers are derived, and for the advancement of whose happiness it was instituted, and so far from being a guarantee for the enjoyment of those inestimable and inalienable rights, [it] becomes an instrument in the hands of evil rulers for their oppression.1

Introduction

These words, modeled closely after the U.S. Declaration of Independence,2 embody the legendary Texas Revolution:3 a war lasting our state's forefathers a mere six-and-a-half months,4 but for the world forever forged-in blood-to the annals of history. A close comparison between both the U.S. and Texas declarations reveals, however, a glaring difference: while both documents took strongly from the ideas of the classical philosopher John Locke,5 the U.S. declaration used the words "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."6 The Texas declaration, by stark comparison, directly invoked Locke's theory of what government was designed to secure7-life, liberty, and namely, property.8 Hundreds of men lost their lives in defense of the principles outlined in the Texas declaration at the famous battle of the Alamo,9 and more still later in similar defense.10 All this is to say that property has not been historically, nor is it now, an insignificant aspect of the life of a Texan.11 But as this article will show, the government of Texas has increasingly acted as if that is the case.12

Fast-forward one hundred and seventy years to the year 2006, during the middle of Rick Perry's second term as Governor of Texas.13 Then, Texas ranked fourteenth on the list in terms of property tax burden.14 To address this, the Legislature implemented a "property tax swap," switching out the rising property tax burden with an increase in franchise and motor vehicle taxes coupled with increases in taxes on tobacco products.15 But the attempt at property tax relief failed.16 Nearing the end of his term as Governor of Texas, Perry saw in 2012 Texas's property tax burden ranking rise to fifth highest in the nation in terms of state and local property tax collections as a percentage of mean home value17-a dire situation that again called for legislative action. The Texas Legislature intervened the following session, passing increases to the standard Texas homestead exemption.18 But now, four years later, Texas still ranks among the highest in the nation under the same metric.19 If local budgets continue to grow and other states begin to solve their property tax problems, it stands to reason that Texas will be left in the dust as we inevitably climb closer to the number-one spot in the coming years. While Texas proudly ranks highly in subjects like business,20 oil production,21 and criminal justice reform,22 ranking first in property tax collection is not a goal any Texas politician-Republican or Democrat-seeks to soon achieve.

Although it is clear that the governmental structure of the state is in dire need of serious property tax reform, and that its citizens are in dire need of property tax relief, the legislature seemed, at the end of the last legislative session, worlds away from actually implementing a complete overhaul of the system; even a cursory understanding of the recent legislative battles on the issue shows that to be the case.23 Various proposals range from a complete swap of property taxes with a broader base of sales tax24 to a property tax "buydown," using surplus state dollars to supplement local maintenance and operation costs in the aftereffect of a state-imposed spending limit.25 These are noble goals-and would likely provide relief-but they carry with them the need for a political will that the legislature as a whole has lacked, historically.26

All of that changed, though, after the last legislative session when the legislature, after decades of debating the issue, finally lowered the rollback rate-a mechanism that allows taxpayers to limit certain local tax increases. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Rolling Back Property Taxes in Texas: A Critique of the Arguments Brought Forth by Various Organizations against Lowering the Property Tax Rollback Rate in the Lone Star State
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.