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Ask the Mayor a Question
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Ask The Mayor
Q. - How long does it usually take to
receive an answer to an "Ask the Mayor" question? Last month,
I asked if the City of Terrell allowed a property tax cap for seniors
age 65 and older as allowed under a State Constitutional amendment approved
by Texas voters in 2003.
Answer - Apparently, your question was forwarded to
me by City Staff and I overlooked it. So, I apologize for the delay
A 2003 Constitutional amendment provided for ways that a City can freeze
property taxes for taxpayers over the age of 65.
School taxes are automatically frozen at age 65. The logic in freezing
school taxes is that people over the age of 65 are generally not adding
children to the school population. So it can be said that they should
not pay as much as young families with children.
This logic does not transfer to freezing City taxes because it costs
the City just as much to provide City services (fire, police, streets,
etc) to a person over 65 as it does to provide them to those under 65.
If taxes were frozen for people over 65, the rest of the taxpayers would
have to make up the difference in funding the City’s operations.
As more and more baby boomers reach 65 this would shift an ever increasing
tax burden onto fewer and fewer people, including young families with
The tax bill for a homestead in Terrell will show that about 25% of
your taxes are City of Terrell taxes. Most of the rest are School District
and County taxes.
No one likes to pay taxes but it should be noted that the only change
in our tax rate in 17 years was a 1993 reduction from 68.5 cents per
$100 valuation to 65.0 cents per $100 valuation. Any increase seen in
City property taxes has been due to an increase in property
value not tax rate.
Hal Richards, Mayor