It’s tax time in Plano! On Monday, September 10, 2018, the Plano City Council’s budget process will culminate with a vote on the proposed tax rate of 46.03 cents per $100 assessed value. This is a rate decrease from last year’s rate of 46.86. While there has been some discussion regarding the effective tax rate of 44.05, we feel this rate would result in drastic cuts to public safety, libraries, and other important city services which would not be consistent with maintaining Plano’s standing as a “City of Excellence”. The tax rate that is currently being proposed (46.03 cents per $100 assessed value )– which was reached by taking the effective tax rate and adding in inflation and population growth – would reduce the proposed budget by $3.2 million, saving the average homeowner in Plano $24 a year. The cuts included in the $3.2 million savings from the originally proposed budget would impact economic development and the amount deposited in the city’s capital reserve each year.
The Plano Chamber advocates on behalf of Plano’s vibrant business community on issues that impact our members, including economic development, infrastructure and quality of life – three areas greatly impacted by our city’s tax rate and budget.
Now is the time to invest in maintaining our infrastructure and services. Our economy is strong and we want to ensure that our city services continue to support the quality of life we have come to expect. Earlier this year, the City conducted a scientific citizens’ satisfaction survey. The results showed that 90% of Plano residents are very satisfied or satisfied with the level of services and quality of life in Plano, and 75% of residents were in favor of keeping the current tax rate (46.86) in order to maintain those services.
As an organization, we support the proposed rate of 46.03, which includes over $3 million in cuts. As the following chart depicts, Plano will continue to have the lowest tax rate (net of homestead exemptions) of all major cities in the area. We feel this is the responsible and proper action council should take at this time.
Source: City of Plano
The Plano Chamber is also working hard to address opportunities for meaningful tax reform beyond the rate reduction currently proposed by the city council. More attention must be placed on the other 70% that is captured in homeowners’ property taxes each year through school taxes. Through an arcane and outdated “Robin Hood” school finance structure, we continue to see local school districts collect more tax revenue, but send more of that money back to Austin in recapture ($208 million this year alone for PISD and over $1.7 billion since 1991). This is where true reform can help make a difference to our business community, our students, and our citizens. We encourage you to engage in this process and learn more about the facts.
Plano Chamber Hosts Information Session on School Finance
Plano Pulse, Plano Chamber’s podcast on School Finance Reform