Government only works when citizens can hold their leaders accountable and accountability begins with transparency" said Bonnen who is chairman of the powerful Ways & Means tax-writing Committee in the Texas House of Representatives.
The Property Taxpayer Empowerment Act will give Texans the information and clarity they need to hold local leaders accountable for their tax bill."With so many entities setting different rates each year Bonnen said he and other House Members had heard more than enough evidence regarding how difficult it is for taxpayers to determine why their tax bills keep increasing. House Bill 15 would help taxpayers focus on the number that matters most the tax rate set by each of their local taxing entities members said. The legislation would:
- Require Local Governments to Publish annually their No New Taxes Rate" which is the rate that would raise the same amount of money as the previous year. When appraisals increase the No New Taxes Rate decreases.
- Create a Searchable Statewide Database that gives taxpayers the information they need to hold local officials accountable. Every property owner will be able to see how each jurisdictions proposed tax rates will directly affect their individual tax bill along with detailed information about how they can make their voices heard in the local rate-setting process.
- Remove the Misleading Estimate of Tax Due" on appraisal notices. This figure is based on applying last years tax rate to this years appraisal which is confusing and inaccurate.
- Restrict Debt Service Taxes to only debt that has been approved by voters.
- Reduce the Maximum Increase in Taxes from 8 to 4.
- Make Property Tax Rollback Elections Automatic after a government taxing unit proposes a rate that exceeds the rollback rate no longer requiring citizens to gather signatures to petition for a rollback election.