People passionate about public policy don’t aspire to make a dollar. They strive to make a difference. And having an impact is almost always deeply satisfying.
That was certainly the case with Pflugerville this week.
On Tuesday, the Texas Public Policy Foundation hosted Senator Paul Bettencourt and Representative Dustin Burrows to talk taxes and the historic changes made last session. The afternoon discussion—Out of House and Home: How to Stop Efforts Undermining Property Tax Reform—covered the contours of Senate Bill 2 and dug deep into a few matters, like the push from some cities and counties to raise taxes by as much as 8 percent without voter approval—and what Texans should do about it.
Some Pflugerville taxpayers and city council members were clearly taking notes.
When the Pflugerville City Council met later that same evening, residents came prepared to push back against the city’s massive proposed tax increase and demand that it adopt something smaller. Their arguments had a familiar ring.
From Community Impact:
Prior to council’s amended budget and tax rate proposals, a dozen residents spoke against Pflugeville’s initial proposed property tax rate on Aug. 11. Many speakers called into question the city’s consideration of raising its operating revenue 7.05%, a higher amount than the 3.5% revenue cap established by Senate Bill 2.
Resident Anthony Nguyen said the spirit of the law’s exemption came in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, adding an increase above 3.5% is not sustainable for residents.
In the end, the public testimony proved persuasive. The Pflugerville City Council “took steps…to consider a lower proposed budget and maximum tax rate.” While the tax rate hasn’t been formally adopted yet, it looks like the final figure will be at or below 3.5%. Assuming so, that will help tax-weary residents, rule of law proponents, and policy wonks alike.
The small-but-important wins like this are something that we should all celebrate.