Protect Property Taxpayers

Billions in higher property taxes are hurting Texans.
You DESERVE to know why.

It's no secret that Texas relies on property taxpayers as their source of funding for more and more each year...

Texas Association of Counties

When the state does not fund its mandates, property taxpayers are stuck with the bill.

The current state budget relies on a 14% increase in property appraisals to adequately fund schools.

...but it's not just school taxes the Legislature has pushed down to property taxpayers.

The Legislature quietly pushes other property tax increases, too.

The Legislature regularly requires local property taxpayers to pay for new policies, programs and items traditionally thought of as state responsibilities.

They're known as Unfunded Mandates
and for property taxpayers,
it's death by a thousand cuts.

Unfunded mandates cost Texans billions each year.

Here are just a few of the bills property taxpayers are on the hook for:

Texas Association of Counties
$116,400 a day

to house state parole violators, known as Blue Warrant inmates, in county jails.

Source of Estimate: 2016 Unfunded Mandates Survey, Texas Association of Counties, based on data provided by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards

Texas Association of Counties
$298.3 million

to repair county roads damaged by state-permitted oversize/overweight trucks in 2014 and 2015.

Source of Estimate: 2016 Unfunded Mandates Survey, Texas Association of Counties, based on information from the University of Texas at Austin's Center for Transportation Research and the University of Texas at San Antonio

Texas Association of Counties
$8.8 million a year

in order to keep DPS troopers in local communities. To date, taxpayers in 76 counties pay for those officers.

Source of Estimate: 2016 Unfunded Mandates Survey, Texas Association of Counties

Texas Association of Counties
$6.45 million each month

for indigent health care programs. Statewide costs have increased more than 25.6% since 2011.

Source of Estimate: 2016 Unfunded Mandates Survey, Texas Association of Counties

Texas Association of Counties
$66 million annually

to fund appraisal district budgets. The cost has gone up more than 17% since 2011.

Source of Estimate: 2016 Unfunded Mandates Survey, Texas Association of Counties

Texas Association of Counties
$125.5 million a year

to incarcerate state inmates in county jails, including Blue Warrant inmates.

Source of Estimate: 2016 Unfunded Mandates Survey, Texas Association of Counties, using data from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards

Texas Association of Counties
$2.4 million a week

to collect motor vehicle fees and taxes for the state of Texas, an increase of more than 20% since 2011.

Source of Estimate: 2016 Unfunded Mandates Survey, Texas Association of Counties

Texas Association of Counties
$225 million a year

for court-appointed criminal lawyers in 2017. County expenditures have gone up almost 150% since 2001.

Source: Texas Indigent Defense Commission Annual Expenditure Report, Fiscal Year 2017

Texas Association of Counties
Half a billion dollars each year

for adult and juvenile probation programs. Statewide costs have increased more than 20% since 2011.

Source of Estimate: 2016 Unfunded Mandates Survey, Texas Association of Counties

Want to learn more?
Read: The Cost of County Government: 2016 Unfunded Mandates Survey.

This survey focuses on statewide extrapolations of certain unfunded and partially funded mandates to give readers a better grasp of statewide costs incurred by property taxpayers. The report includes information on the survey process and methodology used for determining the percentage increases and extrapolations.

Legislators say they're cutting taxes, but if they're just passing the bill on to homeowners, have they done anyone any favors?

Did you know?

A proposed amendment, HJR 73 by Rep. DeWayne Burns, passed the House on a vote of 127-18. Despite overwhelming bipartisan support, it stalled in the state Senate, never getting a hearing.

Similar measures already protect taxpayers in many other states.

If the Legislature believes something is important, shouldn't they pay for it? Homeowners shouldn't be treated like the state's no-limit credit card.

We can have a responsible, pay-as-you-go state government.

Tell your legislators what you think about unfunded mandates.

Unfunded Mandates:

  • Drive up your property tax bill.
  • Drive up the size and cost of county government.
  • Remove accountability from government spending.
  • Cost Texans billions of dollars.
  • Force property tax increases that strain YOUR budget.