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The Huntsville City Council approved Resolution 2019-14 during their regular meeting held on December 18. The Council expressed opposition to Legislative interference with local services, local revenue, and local control.
The Resolution notes the dramatic growth of jobs and population in Texas cities in recent decades is indisputable proof that the decisions Texans have made at the local level have produced the kinds of communities where people want to live, work, and do business; local issues call for local solutions that reflect the uniqueness of each community; the ability of Texans to create vibrant, livable cities is under assault from state officials who wish to dictate that every community and neighborhood conform to their agenda; some in the Texas legislature have willfully disregarded the voice of the voters of Texas cities and pre-empted the will of Texans by seeking to overturn approved ballot propositions where citizens have sought to deal with issues affecting their communities and to improve conditions for their residents, such as bag bans, temporary rentals, fracking and ride-sharing, even in situations where voters utilized direct democracy tools to bring these decisions before the public – an offense to the American system of participatory democracy and the historic Texan spirit of independence; and state officials are attempting to put one-size-fits-all restriction on the annual budgets of all cities and counties through revenue caps and spending limits, under the guise of property tax relief.
"A lot of people don't realize how potentially dangerous this can be," Councilmember Tish Humphrey said. "This is huge, and citizens should be talking to our representatives."
According to Texas Municipal League’s “Our Home, Our Decisions” campaign, some state officials are trying to mislead Texans into believing cities are to blame for high property taxes. But here’s the truth: Cities only collect 16 percent of property taxes.
Texas property taxes are high because the legislature has been cutting the state’s share of funding for education. In 2017, the Legislature adopted a state budget that is based on our school property taxes increasing by 14 percent over two years.
City council believes that local decision-making gives Huntsville a voice: in how much they want to invest in infrastructure improvements like roads, new police and fire stations, water and sewage treatment and recreation facilities; and in rules and regulations that protect their home values and the character of their neighborhoods.
Citizens of Huntsville want the decisions that affect their homes and neighborhoods to reflect our local priorities and values.
The video shown during the Dec. 18 and Jan. 3 meetings, along with Resolution 2019-14 and the letter sent to Rep. Bailes, can be found at HuntsvilleTX.gov/OurHomeOurDecision
For more information, contact CitySecretary@HuntsvilleTX.gov or call 936-291-5400.