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YOUR PROPERTY TAXES MATTER

Noone likes to pay taxes. But almost everyone realizes that taxes are a necessary and certain part of life. As you know, we have no State income tax in Texas. So the primary means of revenue is through the levy and collection of real estate taxes.

Did you know that the State of Texas has nothing to do with the levy, enforcement or collection of your real estate taxes? Your property tax is a local tax which goes straight to governing bodies near you. There are nearly 4,000 local governments in Texas that collect and use your property tax, including cities, counties, school districts, and special districts. If you look closely at your property tax bill you will notice all of the local entities that tax you and the amount that goes to each entity.

The different districts use the money for their local needs. Streets, fire protection, police departments, schools, colleges–property taxes are the largest single funding source for these community services. But just what are, exactly, the services you are paying for with your property taxes?
Consider just some of the functions and services of the common governments that use your property taxes:

County

· Restaurant inspections
· Disease control
· Water sanitation
· Courts
· Jails
· Sheriff’s office
· Public buses
· Elections: managing elections and counting ballots
· Animal care and control
· Emergency management
· Emergency planning services
· Trails, parks, and open space
· Wastewater management

City

· Aviation
· Animal control
· Consumer health
· Garbage and recycling
· Code compliance
· Fire protection
· Libraries
· Municipal courts
· Parks
· Athletics
· Community centers
· Forestry
· Graffiti abatement
· Building permits and plans
· Inspections
· Neighborhood education
· Police
· Public events
· Streets, lights, signals, markings
· Parking meters and city-owned parking garages
· Storm water, including high water warning flashers, drain cleaning, maintaining drainage canals
· Tap water

School district

· Elementary education
· Secondary education
· School buildings
· Teachers
· Supplies
· Utilities/maintenance
· Administration
· School counselors
· Staff development/training
· Extracurricular activities
· Computers and technology
· Library
· School buses
· Nurses
· Security


Community college

· College education
· Small business development, including counseling and mentoring
· Continuing education
· High school outreach
· Dual enrollment/early high school
· Instructors
· Academic support
· Student services
· Scholarships and fellowships
· Maintenance of property
· Tuition discounts

I believe that most of my fellow Texans will gladly pay their fair share of taxes. The problem arises when taxpayers feel as though 1) they are paying a disproportionate share of taxes or 2) they see that their tax dollars are being wasted. While each of the above listed pursuits is laudable, each one also represents an opportunity for waste.

At Property Tax Fix, LLC we believe that it is important to make certain our governmental leaders cut wasteful spending before they assess any new taxes. We also believe that the appraisal district should be put to the test when it comes to determining the “appraised value” of your property. There are a number of excellent tax consulting firms that we recommend. One of the best is Southland Tax. Their website is www.southlandtax.com.
Tell them Property Tax Fix sent you!!





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