In the latest fiscal year, 2015, the City of Cedar Hill has its tax rate set, according to the Texas State Comptroller, at 97.4% of the rollback rate. City leaders seem to brag they are below the rollback rate, but one can see they are essentially at the rollback rate and it is disingenuous to suggest otherwise.
The table below came out of the City Financials menu item. One can compare the Rollback Tax Rate and the City Property Tax Rate Total and see how the Total is always set just below the Rollback Tax Rate, where if it exceeded it, the city of Cedar Hill would have to come to the citizens in an election to approve the tax rate.
What is the significance of the rollback rate? If a city sets its tax rate higher than the rollback rate it has to call a general election for the citizens to approve of the rate and that is anathema for a city. If they set their rate just below the rollback rate, then they can maximize their tax collections without having to go to the citizens.
The rollback rate is a little tedious to explain but suffice it to say it is the rate whereby a city can have an 8% increase in revenue over the year before for a particular part of their budget. That seems over generous, and there has been a move afoot by members of the Texas Senate to lower the 8% to 4%. Of course the tax spending cities have vehemently opposed such a move because that would limit their revenues.
Below is a web page that explodes myths about SB-2 which is the senate bill that introduces a 4% rollback rate, changed from the 8%. If you are for lower taxes then you should be for SB-2.
The first step in fixing Texas’ ridiculous property tax laws is here
The person pictured with the microphone in his hands is State Senator Bettencourt of Houston, who should be every taxpayer’s hero. He chaired the Senate Select Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief. This committee traveled around the state holding hearings where taxpayers could speak about their high taxes. The nearest one to Cedar Hill was held at the University of Texas at Arlington. This link provides the final report of the committee.
So maybe you could ask your city leaders if they are in favor of SB-2 and if not why not!