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Mayor Nin Hulett, Councilmember Trish Reiner, and City Manager Chris Coffman visited the Texas Capitol in Austin on Wednesday, January 9 to attend a meeting held by the Policy Office of Governor Greg Abbott regarding school finance reform and local property tax issues that will be critical in the 86th Legislative Session.
At the meeting, City officials from across Texas were presented legislation that would hinder citizens’ ability to have a voice in vital decisions affecting their community by drastically changing the way cities are allowed to administer property tax collection.
There were three main parts to this plan presented at the meeting:
At the December 4, 2018 City Council meeting, the Council unanimously adopted Resolution No. 18-31 to formally oppose any measures that would limit, reduce, or remove the local control that municipalities have today regarding their respective abilities to govern, finance, or otherwise make decisions on behalf of the communities they serve. The legislation proposed on January 9 is directly in the category of the types of legislation the Granbury City Council has decided to stand against.
Mayor Nin Hulett had several issues with the proposed plan.
“Uncontrollable costs, such as unfunded state and federal mandates, emergencies, and increased demand for services, show the size of city and county government. For example, the drought of record that we experienced a few years back did not affect all communities in the same way it did ours,” said Mayor Nin Hulett, “City officials are the most knowledgeable about community needs and should be given the flexibility to address those needs. Flexibility is the heart of the concept of local control, which is an essential element of local government in Texas cities. The revenue caps being proposed fly in the face of local control by taking choice out of the hands of the voters who elected local decision-makers to address the needs of the community. One size does not fit all.”
Councilmember Trish Reiner agreed with Mayor Hulett’s concerns.
“The concept of a spending cap sounds enticing on the surface; however, the devil is in the details. This 2.5 percent cap will cripple cities of every size by ultimately forcing them to take on unexpected debt in the event of a crisis, spend money on unnecessary elections, and take the power away from the citizens who elected us to run the city and who hold us accountable to do so,” Councilmember Reiner said, “What the state needs to do is address the true crisis, which is the need for school finance reform, and let us do our job.”
The elected officials from across Texas in attendance at the meeting, including those representing the City of Granbury, wholeheartedly rejected the proposal, noting several specific problems:
To learn more about this initiative and see Granbury City Council adopt Resolution No. 18-31 in support of the Texas Municipal League's Our Home, Our Decisions campaign on December 4, 2018, visit www.granbury.org/OurHomeOurDecisions.