THE COMMISSIONER'S DESK
A few months ago I attended a legislative town hall hosted by a Tarrant County house delegation member and it would come as no surprise that a significant portion of the discussion was dominated by concerns about property taxes. Just as our court has heard from constituents who communicated with us during our own budget process and whose concerns were echoed at that town hall meeting, people are feeling “over-taxed”, “taxed out of their home” and as if each governmental entity with taxing authority is simply pointing fingers at another.
I appreciate those concerns and I also understand those
characterizations, which at times and in all fairness, can feel
I also appreciate that our county, one of the fastest-growing in the
nation and the third largest in the state is working hard to address
an ever-growing list of needs, some of which are mandated by our
state, with little to no funding provided. For example, in our FY2020
budget, over one third of the new positions created and included in
our General Fund are related to unfunded mandates.
While it was my original goal to adopt a lower tax rate (see Budget
story for more) I understand the responsibility to adequately meet the
demands of our county, including that of our Juvenile Center project,
originally part of the 2006 Capital Improvement Program. While I
inherited this issue, with the long-term best interest in mind, I
joined my colleagues in supporting the funding of this appropriation
now. In doing so and with multiple variables involved, holding steady
with our current tax rate was our best option.
No budget is perfect. There are and will perhaps always be areas
that could use more or less resources, at a given time. I am proud
that we were able to provide raises to the hard-working staff of our
county, increase resources in Criminal Justice and Public Safety,
invest in our retirement system and many other points of value. I do
however remain concerned about the 287(g) Program and its unknown
costs, jail over-crowding, reforms to our criminal justice system,
successful implementation of the JPS Bond, and many other issues that
I look forward to working with my colleagues across the county on to
create solutions that are effective, fiscally prudent and sustainable
while realizing the implications of this past legislative session with
the goal of providing true property tax relief.
Please keep in touch and as always, let me know how I can best serve
you as your County Commissioner for Precinct 2.
Download the full issue here: Precinct 2 Quarterly, December 2019
County Telephone Operator 817-884-1111
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