Texas Insider, 4/14

Texas Insider
Saturday, April 14th

Texas Insider, for April 14.

00:50:31

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

And the ladies and gentlemen happy Saturday afternoon G and welcome back to the Texas insider show I'm Jim Hart alana. Lovely lovely Saturday afternoon here I think my car thermometer said it was a fun love and 65 degrees. Today in the nation's eleventh largest city as ours like to say. And we really appreciate you join an SP sure and check its at a Texas insider dot org where we post about. Ten to fifteen articles every day take it straight from the horse's mouth the politicians by and large don't put too much spin around it because I know you can get that. Yourself on any given day from any given source so. Be sure and check to set a Texas insider we got about a 170000. Subscribers there if you wanna subscribe send me an email to GL meant Texas insider dot org and also on FaceBook and Twitter we got about 35000 followers just at Texas insider. So happy Saturday afternoon to you were here every Saturday from 1230 to 130 on the Texas insider show and boy I'm telling you. Again this week. More than have to talk about. Got a stack combat and a half foot high here but we started off the week. With. Donald Trump's attorney's office been raided Michael Cohen is his name you've probably heard a little bit about that then on Tuesday. House speaker Paul Ryan up in Washington DC. Announced that he's gonna retire I don't know how many of you were CNET but I happen to catch it. Lot of Bonham and a feed from something and and having I used to work with Paul Ryan back about twenty years ago. When he was a young Capitol Hill staffer like I was. For a guy by the name of David Macintosh from Indiana who retired in them you know I think my pants I wonder if my parents took that seat. At any rate Paul Reich instead. He has been a congressman for twenty years now his kids are all in their teens his oldest is sixteen and they've never known him as anything more than a weekend that and I can understand and I think most of us. Would most Americans would you got up and prioritize your life and people don't realize how hard it is to the tube we all can be like to complain about everything but our own way and we complain about all of our elected officials and yet that's something to realize it is a real particularly at the congressional level where you're traveling up and Washington DC but even here at the state level. It's a real. Time sucked in a devotion and a service to the rest of us for people to run for and serve. In elected office and Paul Ryan I believe him he's just had enough and he's been there twenty years and his kids are grown up and congratulations to him up. Encourage all my political friends when they're thinking about whether to run them out again you go out on top that's what you always want to be there I'd go out on top. So good for Paul Ryan and then on on Wednesday I think we had them. Komi book do you know the commie PR people are. Doing their job and working overtime that was a couple days worth of of leaks were the PR firm had put their talking points army's book is actually come and I don't believe it's on Tuesday. And he's gonna go into a national book tour which. Is just beyond me because he is setting himself up. To absolutely. Be run over by Donald Trump and as we've seen before Donald Trump with little Marco and low energy jab in line Ted Cruz. And now with the trade and the terror stuff folks Donald Trump until I see him lose not once or twice but about three or four or five times I'm not gonna believe. This is just empirical evidence I think. I'm not gonna believe that he can be beat east. Overcome all odds he still often a daily basis over coming home. All the odds with a sock puppet media attack in Yemen and yet his approval rating went over 50% a couple weeks ago we talked about that and in coma he's gonna be on this book tour so be put on your big girl and guy pennies because it is going to be in the news and work on here about it ad nauseam. Then on Friday last night we had the serious attacks so. More than enough talk about but I tell you the most important thing and why you're Texas insider. And we appreciate you listening to this show the most important thing I think to me all week end. At first a lot of folks were really upset about it and yours truly included but. The is the week went on it kind of became clear what was going on so one. Give you the back story and make sure you understand because it's so important. To have protection of our own property and Donald Trump's attorneys' offices were raided. By the FBI and that goes to the heart of the one of the most. Long served to most established traditions in our country and that is what's called the Fourth Amendment not to get too technical and and historical about it but. As I've talked about before folks when you. Sign up for your cell phone contract or your Internet that we could have Mark Zuckerberg on Capitol Hill I can't forget to leave that out and I saw an article in the New York Times this week by a a brighter from the New York Times he went in and evidently FaceBook has a feature where you can download everything that they have a batch you. And he said he just about soiled shorts because they have not only were you bin and who your friends are but when you delete something. For instance he said he deleted a 117 friends but they weren't deleted they were still there on his FaceBook record. And when you. Click the button to find your friends. FaceBook upload your contact list for me it's firm outlook Keith just turned it if when I opened uploaded my. My contact list there went Rick Perry's self harm took FaceBook. And there went Greg Abbott's cellphones some and and if your friend of mine their wait your cell phone to. FaceBook and not only that FaceBook then sells it this guy found out that he had hit the FaceBook and head. 89 different entities by his information from them. Whether it be Barnes & Noble or. Some well known Nordstrom's there were like random. Things that he quoted up on motorcycles and on. You know. Game and Internet games and he was just shocked but that's what happens when you sign a contract with yourself phone provider are often say you give them two things. Number once you give them their right to own all your stuff and the government does the same thing as what I'm getting yet. Because when the FBI goes the end they scoop up everything but they know everything this is all the Internet every single. Letter that you ever type is recorded in and I'll never forget the one of the founders of the Internet about. Ten years ago when that privacy is and FaceBook was starting to launch he said that FaceBook and this was stern I think that George W. No the Obama presidency. When NSA was going National Security Agency was corner then and there were concerns about what the government captain what it didn't kept keep an open bat come to find out they keep everything in the can't keep everything even though they're prohibited. From keeping everything that the folks in government commuter ran. The laws and sure enough they had done a book when you sign yourself on Contra you give them the number one here authority to own all your stuff it's not yours anymore they own and it says that in the contract number one. And number two you paid them to own your stuff. So we saw that with the Zuckerberg this weekend on Capitol Hill and we sought win. The FBI went into the attorney of Donald Trump's in this is gonna continue to be an issue because the fact of the manners folks as you know I've talked about it before. The left right now is and I'm. Not one to buy into conspiracy theories and not into generally all of that stuff politics is like most other things in life it's very simple. It's never complex like is her as complex as you wanna make it by and large it's usually very simple and when they go in and they scooped up this stuff from Donald Trump the left is trying to get president trump and I think there really is an effort. And we've seen it with the FBI been Reid shuffled and people being fired and Andrew McCabe in. Jim combing now with this book coming out and plottage and co mes former. Co workers say that he is a little bit of a cell for religious Craig I think was the company's history. Way that I've heard it described this week but. The FBI goes in and they suck up all of Donald Trump's attorneys information and thank. Thank goodness Donald Trump's held his tongue because that would be the greatest fear there's two ways that a special investigator can go in. And suck up something like that you got the attorney client privilege and in the basis of this folks is. Is that if we if you're under attack in your being sued. The reason there's something called the attorney client privilege is so that you will speak honestly. With your attorney. With out fear that what you say will ever be exposed and it's been a as long as his country's existed it's been the bedrock of the legal profession it's the same thing with our health and when you go in and talk to your doctor you know that. What you say to your doctor will never find its way to the public and these are all concerns right now but there's two exceptions. For attorneys the first is called the crime fraud exception. And that's win a client is usually his confidential communications. With his lawyer. To. Propagate crime and evidently the feds can do that. The second is win the lawyer himself. Is involved in criminal activity. And that's what's happened in this case because you'll remember two weeks ago this. Attorney Donald Trump whose name's Michael Coe when he came out and said that he. Paid himself a 130000. Dollars to keep one of Trump's accusers in sexual innuendo. Quiet and and that is hush money that is not a crime that they should not be considered an in kind contribution to a political campaign. His campaigns are only supposed to pay for certain things that are the result of the campaign and caused. Because of the existence of the campaign. Hush money is not a campaign expenditures should have been paid for privately. That's why they call it hush money it should have been not been disclosed. But when Michael Cohen said that evidently he went to the bank and borrowed the 130000. Dollars and was an honest. About what he was gonna use the money for that is bank fraud and that's what the FBI's got him in Q so. Again just get ready for all this. Donald Trump's attorney staff to be come and at a six ways to Sunday. It is more legitimate than I thought initially but the fact that we can have the government this police state is what are really reeks of and that is something that we all should be concerned about and like I said. Donald Trump's in between a rock and a hard place now but thank goodness he's been by this time. We're gonna talk some more Texas economics and Texas politics would bill Cramer from the Texas taxpayers and research association and come back. And appreciate you joining us on the Texas insider show will be right back. It's. Sound off on the news today with the top poll online ads on thirteen seventy dot com sock thirteen seventy the right choice. Good job there aren't always happy days it is happy Saturday afternoon to you for hooks a little. We're getting we're getting some religion McCann were Matt talk Texas taxes and and thank you lord for another beautiful day in the world in the nation's eleventh largest city we appreciate you join Abby Austin, Texas we appreciate you joining us for this. Week's edition of the Texas insider show I'm Jim Carville and we're here every Saturday afternoon from 1230 to 130 talking about. Both national and Texas politics because. As we always say you're either an insider or you're not so appreciate you join an S and tell ya I've. Been thinking about doing this for couple weeks and we finally. Have hooked up and got my friend dale Kramer from the Texas taxpayers and research association in studio and somebody will have received in the last couple weeks has anybody know besides me notice that your tax notices are shown up in the mail. And those of us that followed the legislature the text to them. Legislative critters down there are starting to have some finance committee hearings and they're getting ready for the 2019. Legislative session already bit. Mostly because the tax. Notices are showing up in your your boxes but it. I've talked before folks about how our economy is just going through the roof. In Texas and even worse in Austin. It's good news and bad news is state representative Ron Simmons told me a couple weeks ago the good news is that the economy's doing extremely well. The bad news is that the economy is doing extremely well because of it places. It places burdens on our local city county state to keep up with this stuff and provide services I've. Traveled my OPEC a couple times these. This last week at about 6 o'clock and I think that hobbling is actually working there's been a lot of angst and complaints about it meant burn sure would probably cost more than it should have but it seems to be. Working in and thirty fives all bottled up because there's a 159 people moving to Austin if I believe what Boston chamber tells us every single day there's about 11100. People moving to Texas every day and that. Can be a real problems so. Bill Cramer is one of the preeminent in respected. Prognosticators. Of Texas and Texas. And how it impacts the budget there's been a lot of talk to Matt replacing property taxes with sales taxes are happy giddy at this problem of increasing property taxes how do you go about as good if you're a homeowner. Appealing. Your taxes will get into some of that stuff and dale we appreciate you joining us today glad to be here Jim thank you. You know I've been talking about this like I said fur of a number of weeks says appraisal of notices were hidden. The mailboxes of terms candy citizens be sure and checked dale out folks and PT ARA at TX taxpayers. Is there FaceBook page but dale let's just start at like the 30000 foot level I always say that we try and provide little sanity and reason. The Texas insider show as kind of what I think of when I think about it you bit. That the nation's economy is coming back. The Texas economy hadn't is that according to the guys that I talked to you'd really never had a damn turn it not gone flat for awhile. As the nation was in a recession over the last ten years but we had a lot to me thank. Before and things are looking up in Texas right. We do. You know the story of Texas almost always begins with oil and gas and oil listen to right now is stable you know we've been through rough patch we've come out of that. We're benefiting because US economy's doing so well that's the rising tide that lifts all boats and then when you look at the things that set us apart. Knew we were blessed with a oil and gas resources in the industry is stable now. Were high tech Mecca. And everyone wants to come to Austin they're very they all come here and the first thing to do is get in front of me on my own packet rush hour. But there are also us yeah where were also a haven for health care though I mean really tremendous health care economy in Houston. In dallas' well so yeah that's true I wanna interrupt you there because we've got the MD Anderson Cancer Center Dan Houston. Huge economic driver down there and you've got part Clinton. In medical city in a bunch of others are in Dallas I don't think about that Guerrero from the very good point keep going yeah so. You'd you'd you mix those two stories you've got a strong US economy showing solid growth in on top of that you overlay those factors that. Are always gonna put Texas in overdrive relative to the rest of the US. Things are going great right now we're rich. Is downside of that which will talk about a little bit that you mentioned is that's also driving our appraisals up to. Appraisals are what gets everybody's attention I saw some fund. Here. What does this march 30 I always call it lovingly because I'm one of the few Saddam one of those 85000 subscribers of Austin and American states person and don't wanna be. Misogynist dickens' a states man but they do a great job of keeping people educated on this stuff and here's the front page. Friday march 30 proper headline his property values continue to climb in Travis scanning. And they showed the percentages and the dollar amounts. Travis Cammie. Taxes were up 10%. Her appraisals were up 10% in fort 201411%. In 2015. Ten point 1% in 201611. Point 2% in 2017. How to we him and it's not gonna stop pure science. Well. That the healthy economy is both a blessing and of course then I think we're probably gonna see rising appraisals for the first you'll future as we have is you pointed out the last couple years. Now it's important to note though and I gonna draw a distinction. The appraisal going up on your house is good news for that means you've got more assets more wealth than what you had last year. Now that's not gonna turn into a tax bill. Until. City of Austin Austin independent school district Travis County until they all adopt their tax rates come this summer and you folks. Often fixate on the appraisals as equating to a higher taxes. It's not the appraisal should be good news story where you need to pay attention is in the summer. Where all the jurisdictions adopt their tax rates has your tax bill is the product of your value times your tax rate. And you don't know what candy until they adopt those tax rates and that's where folks need to be paying more and more attention than what they do. Okay let's talk about that permitted because you've been good enough and folks like I said be sure and check us out every day at Texas insider dot org or post about 101215. Articles every day. From people like dale Kramer where the Texas taxpayers and research association and you can stay abreast of what's going on. Each briefly quickly at your leisure but dale you wrote we've got a series I'm calling that the Kramer series. And impart to. March 27 one dale Kramer wrote what's the skinny of your fat property tax bill both. Good headline there and you've list you say okay every year without failure property tax bill arrives in your mailbox. Every year without fail the bill gets bigger and bigger bigger and trying to get to the bottom of this you study your bill. And there's a list of ended a long list demand tease you got the city you got to Cammie you get your school district but wait there's more since dale Kramer her. You've got the community college district here we've got ACC you've got the hospital district you've got flood control district you've got. Modes municipal utility districts. Talk a little bit about all these districts because people don't know if I'm remember correctly there's you know close 200. Different. Forms a government that can actually show up on your tax bill. There are and it is the biggest ones obviously first and foremost going to be the school district over half your property tax. Is going to be those taxes you pay to your local district. That will be followed up by your county perhaps your city if you're in a city limits if you're not in the city limits. Then you're probably gonna see a number of districts that really are sort of a mystery to you municipal utility districts that provide. Water waste water there may be flood control there may be your road district and particularly on the rural areas you're gonna see a lot more of these special districts. So they're they're probably over 2000. Different types of special districts. There can be a part of your tax bill across the state 2002000. A lot of them are in Houston we don't have as many and Travis County. But Harris County is is that well a lot of those are located really sleep you've got probably. There's there's a couple independent cities within Houston. Gathered there about a thousand cities roughly that Levy a property tax obviously 254. Counties. 11100 school districts but there are. About 2000 special districts that are a mystery to many as to how they're created where they came from and why they keep showing up are taxed. And that's a result of what are Texas legislators. Do. Down at the capitol it takes act of the legislature to create a taxing district could it takes two things. It takes the legislature authorizing the district. Hand in order to impose a property tax it takes a vote of those in that district to approve it cut with the with a lot of them it's you may have an undeveloped area where there just aren't any people. So what happens is. A developer will basically our people to put a trailer on the property. And established. Residents there are so that they are lawful voters and that they can vote to improve the mud taxes which over time. Will will diminish it. Outside of of city of Austin there are folks living in mud that are looking at some very sizable tax Rleal. To have ten payback for the infrastructure development OK we got about two minutes left I'm. Visiting folks with bill Cramer the president of the Texas taxpayers and research association check command at TT. They are a dot to what is port dot org dale in this article that you wrote for some Texas incited the skinny about your fat property tax bills you say that since. 2000 property taxes in Texas have increased by a factor of two and a half. School taxes are up 5% annually city taxes are up 6% annually canny taxes are up 7%. Special districts her up by 8% but after the break we're gonna talk about how will a appeal your tax appraisal. And in the short little time that we got left. Talk about the fact kids it's the truth and in your saying to get involved in your appeal but also in your local. Governing boards government goes to the ocean show up right absolutely. I hit in. He we can't encourage folks to do that enough. Well I I think. No no question I mean we're participatory democracy works. Even in Austin it may be a challenge at times but it does work over the long haul well there we go we're gonna have to leave it there are folks who go under a break in the news at the top of the hour. Come back and as it would dale Kramer the Texas and taxpayers research association. We appreciate you joining us today I'm Jim cargo will be right back heard the. Known the home. Saddle. You and that you. I've got some. It. It. In unison with a little low slowly noisy official page. On Texas and set herself on appreciate you. Join and us and coming back from the break here folks on the Texas insider show I'm Jim Carville happy Saturday afternoon to you it's a lovely lovely day it looks like the cranks are still cranking on down in downtown Austin more high atop the worldwide headquarters in talks thirteen seventy the right choice and appreciate Eden join in us and were visiting today. With one of the State's preeminent tax and budget experts and it's it pertains to your property taxes in the Texas state budget dale Kramer with the Texas taxpayers and research association be sure and check them out on. Their home page at TT ARA dot org or on FaceBook and Twitter at TX taxpayers dale. We were talking before the break about how long were grown so much how we got. People moving to Texas and wind Austin and why and how it's driving. Your appraisal to go up but I've got mine. 2018 notice of appraisal value here in the mailbox about a week ago I've talked to a number of friends I think you said you'd gotten yours too and people. Need to participate in government and it's not always all that hard as people might think to appeal your appraised value which can save you some money and I wanna give him. To this and it's something that I guess future he said you tried the other day and it's not all that hard to do right. Now it's it's very easy to do you can actually do it online from the privacy is your own your own home in your pajamas early absolutely. Patty do it. Well our recommendation then in should people be afraid to do and yeah I think the first thing is this week in fittingly yesterday it was Friday the thirteenth and yes a scary day for a lot of folks that this is a week that appraisal notices went out. If it what shall get when you open it up as you look at it it'll say 2018. Notice of appraised value now the first thing you need to look at. When you study that after you see what value is placed on your home make sure. The you've got to homestead exemption on their few on your home can't otherwise get you as significant percentage erect it does for a school district it takes 25000. Dollars off your value. Ford Travis County Travis County offers a 20% homestead exemption. A city of Austin. Offers a homestead exemption plus the homestead exemption qualifies you for a 10% limit. Your appraised value. May not increase for tax purposes more than 10% in a given year. So for those of you that got your appraisal notices in May see that your market values up 20%. The good news is if you got to homestead exemption you can only be taxed for an increase of 10% value above that now. The the first thing you should do after you determine and make sure that you got your lawful homestead exemption is looking your value. You see what number they put on it. And then take a quick scanned go to zillow go to Trulia on line. You can type in your dress it'll give you sort of a computer generated estimate your values that literally I'm zillow or what's the other one I truly TE RU LE IK chip and these web sites you can type in. Your address it'll bring up your home and give your computer generated estimated the value. So that's sort of rough first steps you can take to check and see if the appraisal district got your value. Kenny. But even even if it looks like your home is valued at market value don't stop there go to the appraisal district's website if you're an Austin. The appraisal district website is Travis CAD dot org. If your Williamson county it's w.'s CAD dot or. Bass drop his best truck CAD. Haze out here you appraisal district I guess is what that is central appraisal district ride because and that the interesting thing though a lot of folks don't realize is your appraisal is public information for real and all of those appraisal districts have an automated feature. They you can go in and you can type in your street. And it'll bring up on a computer page. Your house and its value all of your neighbor's houses and their values and that's public information because it's part of your. Taxing and it T didn't say the city the county trying to be transparent I guess I dad's a part of it yeah yeah absolutely could even if your home is valued at market value if you find out that your value is higher than all of your neighbors. Then you have the right to equal treatment as salute so what you can do. Is gather all of that information your market value firms still lower truly where your neighbors are and if you think you've got a case to make so lower your value. On your notice or appraised value there's something called and that is buried in the second column. On that and what you can do is you can go online. It'll bring up a web page and you can. Fill out a box and explains why do you think your property is valued too high K and make your case and then submit that to the appraisal district. And Paula this is done electronically you don't have to pick up the phone talk to a human being. He can just do this online thing and the appraisal district this is what's considered an informal hearing okay the appraisal district will look at that and they'll say well you have may be we got it wrong or now I think we got it right but will give you the benefit of the doubt so if you say you've looked at your neighbors and you seemed to be a bit out of whack and you haven't added anything and made any improvements and you have a homestead exemption you have to make a little bit of the case I mentioned in. This tonight number two absolutely absolutely you've got to give a reason as to why you think your value may be off okay. Now what she'll get back him in in a week or two is. An email from the appraisal district saying we've reviewed your record. Yes. We're gonna give you the benefit of the doubt and typically the appraisal district will. If you can make a half decent case really and though they may shave a little off your value. And they do that. They do they usually if you can build a decent case I imagine they. And this that you said this is an informal way to do it online the first stages informal. But then if if you've given to contesting it they go to a form but they wanna stay off for the formal. More costly. Can K so if you're asking me for a reasonable decline and you make the case is clearly easier saying they might do. I think typically they won't give you the benefit of the. Out because if you're unhappy in you do decide to to follow the formal. Path of the appeal at that point it gets a lot more complicated OK and what you can do on line again is basically asked for a hearing. Before what's called the appraisal review board okay basically that's an independent body of of property. Property experts that will. Listen to your case and make determination as to whether you're right or whether the appraisal district is right now that's more complicated you have to go in person for that. The appraisal district will also send a representative. But it's very labor intensive for them so they're gonna tend to try to give you the benefit of the doubt and an informal hearing to save the cost of having to go through the formal process so you just the other informal processes but that's fascinating to me it seems like your saying that. Your local governments fairly reasonable to work with him as long as you do it in Q can build a little bit of vacation might have some luck. Yeah and and you know we may hate absolutely hate the property tax. But the truth of the matter is Travis central appraisal district and their chief appraiser have made it a lot easier. For us to to protest or rallies and make sure they were at least starting out the property tax process at the rock place yeah. So. Golly we can encourage folks to check their tax bill and to think about four filing one of these as you say informal appeals just by doing it. Online. And is that the same gonna be the same in in other districts around the Stater do you have any feel or we just lucky to be. In Travis in Austin where they they have a good processors at different small towns are most of the bigger. Counties are going to more automated processing yeah like this some of the smaller counties know you may still have to show up in person and an for an informal hearing. But the larger counties since you're dealing with so many properties and they're gonna try to make it easy for you and easy for him. OK I wanna get into after our next break here them. What you have to TT air raid you and in hell we can maybe think about our state budget process what property taxes do you bit. You've been you've reached he started that the comptroller's office if I remember correctly or it took a stint in the comptroller's office give our listeners a thumbnail on TT ARA so they might wanna go check you out thanks word or a membership organization were a nonprofit. But we basically work on conservative tax and fiscal policy. We wanna make sure that if were being taxed or something that we're getting the very best value for the dollars that we contribute to government. We. All of us are tax experts who. As you pointed out I've got a long history during tax research and yes I am indeed the most boring person in the city. Given that history. But hey I saw your picture the other day you end of the Texas taxpayers and research association team on Twitter head of look like The Blues Brothers you actually went down in participated. In just firm. Knowing how things work lately of one of the committee hearings rather. Travis central appraisal district at a town hall meeting. To explain the process to folks and you we did we did have a little fun where that. But you've been around for ever. As I say forever thirty plus years correct absolutely started cut my teeth with. The late Bob Bullock in the comptroller's office and god rest his soul and had a great three years there before I was fired which is is that typical job progression. Under all of us until after the it was a badge of honor yeah I was I was fortunate enough to find another job before he called me to ask me why wasn't at my desk there you go okay folks. We got to take a short break on this week's edition of the Texas insider show were visiting wood dale Kramer from the Texas taxpayers and research association be sure and check a Matta TT AA RA dot org and after the short break we're gonna come back and talk about the state budget may be a little bit and our property taxes are gonna go for down. On the Texas insider show will be right back. On air online and on your Smart device. Top thirteen seven these kids. Right so it. Candidate takes insider show look. Eddie Van Halen rock and roll and because we are tough. Can bout. Your property taxes and the notices that have shown been shown up in your mailboxes and how it's going through the roof here because we got too many problems including good problems of economic growth and so forth here on the Texas insider show and remember to join us every weekend we're here from 1230 to 130 on talk thirteen seventy the right choice and really appreciate you. Join and us every week and were also talking with dale Kramer from the Texas taxpayers and research association a loved dale you say it Muir. Your quote about yourself yes you are the most boring question there. Because I'm I'm an economist too and and we all know that any economist is an accountant with a sense of humor but. Let's get into one before we get into is what I should say then the impact in the state budget outlook. You've been telling us and and it's news to me and I really appreciate this how easy it is to appeal your taxes. If you look on your tax notice in and I would encourage anybody and everybody to do that you'll save fuel and I think you said bill like 5% without too much trouble but. The other thing we were talking Matt is. Participating. In this is a thing about government it goes to those who show up. And the city of Austin has hearings to go to him and processes to be involved in and I just want to give you chance they have of final comment or two to encourage people to do that so we can get the government we do. Serve right absolutely and and the bottom line message is is. Don't go to sleep I mean it it's a great feeling to challenge your appraisal ending get a little bit shaved off do you feel like you've accomplished something. But it's important to know all your appraisal does is really figure out what piece of the pie you're gonna pay. The overall property tax burden that appraisal notice is not a tax bill. And does not convert into tax until the jurisdictions adopt their tax rates are actual rate yes now on your appraisal notice there's these are this year's tax rates but those are out of date because his values changes budgets change in districts are always adopting new tax rates of property tax it like the sales tax where the rate is the same every year because he property tax rate is adopted by each jurisdiction. Every year they led the and so. What what we do in this process is the first part of it for property taxes determining the values. But then come this summer jurisdictions adopt their tax rates. Now under Texas law a jurisdiction if they adopt a tax rate that generates more than 8% new property tax revenue. Voters can petition. To roll that tax increase back into. 8% sort of a magic threshold that a lot of jurisdictions don't like to go over for fear that it's going to cause. Some voter backlash but I imagine they go right up to it correct funny you should mention. Really you know it's it it was a battle Royale and this last legislative session between the house and the senate one thing they agreed on is at 8% was too much. And they both wanted to cut that number down they give voters and taxpayers a little bit of a break ultimately they didn't reach a consensus spec. That 8% threshold is a magic number. I want to read you something from the city of Austin's budget. That is currently in place it was adopted last summer I think in that at that time the legislature was looking at lowering that rolled back rate that maximum rate that they could Levy before voters could launch a petition drive in the legislature loves to beat up on Austin and frankly Austin deserves some of that sometime well Austin tortured and say here that Austin certainly gives them plenty immaterial to know acquitted. Could quickly but. In if you look at the city of Austin's budget last year they adopted a tax rate of 44 and a half cents per hundred dollars of value. Which was the highest rate that they could Levy. Before voters could petition. To limit that increases they went right up to the maximum and in the transmittal letter from the city manager. To the city council on the budget. This is what the city manager said. I believe this is a fiscally prudent course of action to raise the tax rates as I possibly could okay I believe this is a fiscally prudent. Course of action in light of the risk. A lower revenue caps being imposed in future years by the state. So the bottom line is you need to ask yourself how much fiscal prudence can you afford the and that is all the more reason to get involved don't go to sleep just because you had some success on your appraised value your battles not over yet. Keep an eye on your city council on your county commissioners course punished cool district when you hear. That in late summer that their meeting to talk about the budget that's when they adopt their tax rates. Pay attention and send emails. To your your represented this year commissioners or council members let them know if if you were willing to support a tax increase or not. But pay attention don't go to sleep just because you're happy was your appraisal because Apple's not to government serve just like any other business that you. Exists to grow and to. Make more money and to capture more territories of the market so to speak and analysts were locked and I guess that's what you're saying they're gonna go up to the 8%. Well yes certainly has been the pattern in Austin. Not not so with Travis can I Travis County commissioners have been a bit more conservative and can buy it all the more reason why and I know it's it's tough because you look at sure you huge tax bill there's six different entities on a figure out where your greatest risks are. Can be difficult but you've got to be vigilant and know. Who is trying to take the most from you and that's where you need to focus here. OK stay involved and don't go to sleep says dale Kramer in the Texas taxpayers and research association they are one of pivot here we got to about seven minutes left in the quote you another one of these. Articles and folks we Schoen go to Texas insider dot org and every now and then where we post met ten or fifteen articles a day and work in the middle of running. A series called the Kramer series dale where you're good enough to provide us with some Intel on some info so people can be an insider. As we say but recently. He wrote an article that talked about. The idea and this has been floating around a little bit here this lasts. Couple months as legislators have gotten primary behind him and they're starting to think about what they're gonna do to us in 2019. But this idea of replacing property taxes the hottest latest subject of the day seems to be we could. Increase our sales taxes and as a matter of fact I wanted to note do you know that it was our own local senator dawn bucking ham. Who I believe pass the only tax reform legislation last session where she allowed to even talking about the appraisal process. She made it would be the case where the where that. Homeowner or the property owner was the last one to go in the rebuttal process. And that there her was the last one you make your case the canny appraisal comer that would appraisal of them taxing entity comes intact. And counters the argument and then you have now the right to come back thanks to dawn marking him. Which it is it. Something to be bragging about over local officials but what about these ideas of doing away with the property taxes what are you hearing. In terms of this coming legislative session all the elected officials are saying school finance is going to be V top priority. But yet there's not all that many options give a certain. Thumbnail or what are their outlooks at this point in time well. That the general way this state and local governments finance themselves are a mix of three taxes and cutting their property tax sales tax and income tax came from Texas we don't have an income tax illusion. One of the best selling points. That people look at when they decide that Texas is going to be there next elements of in the states I believe that don't have an income tax cuts but that typically that is referred to in the economic parlance is a three legged stool property sales and income. Texas we have two legged stool now and by virtue of not having an income tax that means yet we have pretty high property taxes and work we have high property taxes for homeowners. We have our property taxes for businesses. But you know the the lack of a personal income tax saves the average Texas family of three. About 3500 dollars a year. And our property tax bill may be a thousand to 2000 higher than than most other states but we still men out as winners here but obviously still nobody likes property tax. There has been a lot of talk about why don't we get rid of the property tax and replace it with a sales tax well we've looked at that idea if it is attractive on the surface we just in on being the Texas taxpayers and research association yes and and on the surface. And has a lot to like about it and can consumption taxes are generally less. Economically distortion Ares and then wealth taxes like property tax. But we just can't make the numbers work I mean. Bottom line is right now the property tax generates about sixty billion dollars it's a sixty billion dollar tax and taxes sales tax about. Thirty. And so you're talking basically about a sales tax it's three times bigger than what we have today. So if you just said let's get real property taxes and replace him with the sales tax base we have now. Look at the sales tax rate north of 20%. Ruling and that's going to be great news for anybody who sells on the Internet I'm in you can. Maybe skirt around your your sales taxes. And I and that's before you I mean right now and that's before you have to expand the base of things that are tax right now we don't have a grocery tax your water and electric bill your doctor your danys. Your accountant we'd have to expand all those groups to be taxable to bright. At absolutely so that's correct that's a way of getting that rate down below 20% in your. Still talking about well into the double digits so if it's a tough trade off it also raises challenges. If from a small town in Texas and my retail sales tax base is a convenience store glory point I don't know how I can pay to hire police. Yeah how are far. So we just haven't seen how it can be made to war so it's going to be a challenge aaron's were spurn an area we got about a minute left what's the outlook in the legislature. Just Whittle around the edges I guess is that what we're expecting in 2019 you got any predictions. I don't think there's going to be enough free money. Available. To see another big tax cut like we had four years ago when it cuts franchise tax when the race at homestead exemption even with our strong economy that still stretch even with our strong economy because they got to pay for things right right there there are a lot of demands on the budget. So money's going to be tight next session but you match. You mentioned something earlier senator bucking ham worked on some of the administrative processes related property tax. We're gonna see a lot of focus on that we're gonna work very hard to keep the system as fair as possible for taxpayers okay well. Dale Kramer with the Texas and taxpayers research association we gotta be fair and were run and at a time and to you the listener folks be sure and check this out at Texas insider dot org to be sure and check at dale Kramer in the Texas taxpayers research association. At TT ARA dot org or. TX taxpayer on FaceBook and Twitter stale we appreciate you joining us today and folks. Join us next week from 123130. On the Texas insider show I'm Jim Carter we're really appreciate you joining us. Have a great great. We can on this beautiful Saturday and we'll talk to you next week. It's. Change.
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