Raney hangs proposed property tax increases on local leaders

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BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Some residents in the area may be paying more in property taxes next year.

One local state representative said if you have concerns about that, you need to reach out to local leaders to express concerns.

State Representatives Kyle Kacal and John Raney both voted for Senate Bill 2. It caps how much local governments can raise their tax revenue to 3.5 percent. Now College Station and Brazos County are hoping to raise their tax rate at a higher level this year before state rules won't let them.

Representative John Raney said the blame for the increase shouldn't be directed at state lawmakers.

"The residents of Brazos county need to talk to those representatives. We did what we thought we could accomplish and they need to visit their reps and their commissioners and their city councilman, their school board trustees and discuss that with them at this point," said Raney.

Brazos County leaders told KBTX the increase their asking for is because of the recently approved law.

"That played into our considerations as well. We, we have to do what the legislature tells us to do and so in anticipating of the cap we thought it was prudent to raise the taxes just a little bit this year," said Nancy Berry, Brazos County Commission for Precinct 3.

"Our hope and belief is to give property taxpayers some reform and relief in the future," said State Rep. Kyle Kacal, the Republican from District 12. Kacal thinks state leaders may revisit this in the future.

"I mean the big victory was House Bill 3 which gives people true property tax relief from a financial standpoint and obviously SB 2 was supposed to give us some property tax reform. And I think the jury's still out," said Kacal.

“I am proud of the 86th Legislature’s work to pass SB 2 and HB 3 which made meaningful reforms to slow the growth of property taxes and added more transparency to the process," said Kacal. "We also increased the state’s share of public education funding to provide relief to ISDs and the taxpayers, but the state legislature cannot directly reduce property taxes because those decisions are not made at the state level," he added.

"Locally elected officials have a difficult job in attempting to keep taxes low while still providing the services their constituents need and deserve. I encourage all residents to make their voices heard during the public comment periods to help their locally elected officials thread that needle," said Kacal.

"I don't know what the legislature will do two years from now, you know, again it's kind of going to be what the voters talk to people about," said Raney.

Both Brazos County and College Station governments are looking at a more than seven percent increase in taxes.

There are public hearings in the coming weeks if you want to voice your thoughts or concerns. Public hearings will be held in Commissioner's Court on August 27 at 1:45 p.m. and September 3 at 6:00 p.m.

The budget and tax rate will be adopted on September 10 at 10:00 a.m.

All those county meetings will happen at 200 South Texas Avenue in Bryan.

For College Station, the public is welcome to provide feedback at several upcoming hearings.
• Aug. 22 ‐ Proposed Ad Valorem Tax Rate Hearing #1
• Sept. 12 – Proposed Ad Valorem Tax Rate Hearing #2
• Sept. 12 – Proposed Budget Public Hearing
• Sept. 26 – Tax Rate Adoption
• Sept. 26 – Budget Adoption