Commissioner Iliana Holguin
Regarding the Tax Increase Approved by the Commissioners Court
Dear Pct. #3 Residents:
I am very saddened to have to report that at the August 28, 2023 Commissioners Court meeting, a majority of the Court voted to adopt the Voter Approval Rate for 2024. The Voter Approval Rate is the highest tax rate that the county could have adopted without having to seek approval from the voters. I know that many of our residents continue to struggle financially and need tax relief, not a tax increase, and so I strongly objected to increasing taxes by adopting the Voter Approval Rate. Instead, I made a motion to the Commissioners Court to adopt the No New Revenue Rate, which means that the County would not collect more in taxes from residents than it did last year. Unfortunately, none of the other Commissioners nor the County Judge agreed with my motion. Instead, they voted to adopt the Voter Approval Rate, which will generate an additional $34 million in property taxes for the County in 2024. I was the only Commissioner to vote no to this tax increase because I believe that raising taxes should be done only if absolutely necessary. I argued that there was still too much unknown information about how the County would end the current fiscal year, and that we should not implement certain initiatives until we know whether we have enough funding available. Unfortunately, the rest of the Commissioners Court did not agree with me, and voted to raise taxes so that all of the proposed initiatives could be implemented without having to wait.
As a result of the Court’s action, property taxes will be going up next year. Please know that I understand that many of our residents will suffer as a result of this decision and that I did my best to try to prevent it. I will continue to fight for the No New Revenue Rate in future budget years and am truly disappointed that the Commissioners chose to ignore the pleas of the public and adopt the highest tax rate possible for this coming year.