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6 Investigates: Truth in Taxation

Posted: 4:33 PM, Apr 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-08 19:26:55-04

 

County taxing entities revenue millions a year from new properties that come online and yet, they’re not included in local budgets.

That’s the take from a retired tax appraiser who tells 6 Investigates he’s asking state lawmakers to change how local tax rates are calculated.

“I’ve always wondered – if they don’t have enough money in the budget to provide for the needs of the people, where does that money go? What becomes of that money,” asks Dick Mitchell, whose open letter to the community calls on voters to take action.

Mitchell says the law allows officials to back out all new property values from their effective tax rate calculations and yet, still collect taxes on those same properties.  In Nueces County, where hundreds of millions of dollars in new properties come online, each year, it represents millions in tax revenues that are not budgeted and therefore, not easy to identify on the back end.

“No one knows where it goes,” he says.

Tax reform is a hot topic this session in Austin, and some local officials say a lot of those reforms will hurt cash-strapped local governments, including Corpus Christi and Nueces County.