Residents and business owners throughout Galveston County were shocked when they opened their latest property tax appraisals — some that had skyrocketed as much as 300 percent.
At a time when people and their businesses are recovering from the economic pain caused by the COVID pandemic, property values for tax purposes have apparently not suffered in the least and now many of our friends and neighbors risk being taxed out of their homes and businesses.
Hardworking Texans deserve better.
While we’re focused on the impact of the current appraisal scenario in Galveston County, it’s important to remember this issue affects property owners throughout our state.
Our legislators must take up appraisal reform in a special legislative session and put an end to these uncontrolled appraisal increases or “appraisal creep.”
There were some attempts to address appraisal reform during the 86th Legislative Session. The most notable was House Bill 1568 sponsored by Rep. Mayes Middleton. This bill would’ve increased the margin of error of the property value study and, thus, would’ve reduced appraisal creep.
HB-1568 passed the Texas House on May 13 but was never scheduled for a Senate hearing and died. This issue can’t wait two more years. It must be addressed now.
The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce and Galveston County Tax Assessor Collector Cheryl Johnson are leading this initiative. Will you help? Please email Gov. Greg Abbott at email@example.com and ask him to call a special session and prioritize the issue of appraisal reform.
You may also write and ask the following elected officials for their support for this important reform:
• Speaker Dade Phelan, firstname.lastname@example.org
• Sen. Larry Taylor, email@example.com
• Sen. Brandon Creighton, firstname.lastname@example.org
• Rep. Dr. Greg Bonnen, email@example.com
• Middleton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Next on the forefront, we need to ask our city and county leaders to immediately combat these unacceptable appraisal increases by reducing our actual tax rate to reflect “no new revenue.” There will be more on that effort to come. For now, please contact the elected officials mentioned above.