For Texas taxpayers, the record of State Rep. Fred Hill (R-Richardson) adds up to higher taxes. The Dallas Morning News is reporting in todayâ€™s edition that residents in Mr. Hillâ€™s home county of Dallas had a â€œsharp increaseâ€ in property tax appraisals â€“ some 20 percent on average. As a result, property owners there are paying an additional $18.4 million in taxes.
Rep. Hill has been the single greatest obstacle to property tax relief and appraisal reform in the Texas House.
In last springâ€™s Dallas County Republican Primary, 86.4 percent of the voters cast a ballot calling for a strict limitation on the growth of all government in Texas â€“ state and local. Similarly, 87.1 percent of the Dallas County Republican Primary voters wanted to reform the property tax appraisal system. But standing in opposition to both efforts has been Rep. Hill.
Mr. Hill demanded that property tax appraisal reform legislation be sent to the committee he chairs, Local Ways and Means, and was accommodated by the House Speaker. Rather than listen to the overwhelming call of Texans to reform property taxes because of the overwhelming burden on homeowners, Mr. Hill used his power all Session to thwart meaningful reform. Heâ€™s fought against the interests of the homeowners of his district and the conservative fiscal principles Texans overwhelmingly endorse.
Just three weeks ago the Texas House was presented a $2.5 billion property tax cut, but Mr. Hill joined with House Democrats to turn that tax cut into a $4.4 billion spending increase.
So while 87 percent of the primary voters in his county want tax relief, Fred Hill voted to increase spending. As homeowners statewide find their property tax bills are skyrocketing thanks to his inaction, Mr. Hill is using his time on our dime in Austin to organize inside-baseball speaker-race theatrics.