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Property tax relief bill to impact Taylor County if adopted

Taylor County Judge Downing Bolls may have to make cuts to the county’s budget in the future after Senate Bill 2, a property tax relief bill, had its first Texas Senate hearing.

Bolls said that the Texas Senate has been looking at a bill like this for seven years now.

"What they're trying to do is to make the tax system more transparent for the average taxpayer. They're also trying to put in place some controls over the amount of revenue that we'll be able to bring in under taxation," Bolls said. "In the larger counties, they want to roll that rollback rate from 8 percent to 2.5 percent. That would cap it at 2.5 percent. It's going to be very difficult for this county to live within 2.5 percent."

Bolls said that they would have to cut back on discretionary funding, which includes volunteer fire departments, ambulance services and hunger programs like Meals on Wheels, just to name a few.

KTXS talked to the Taylor County Central Appraisal District to find out how this bill would impact a homeowner in Taylor County.

Compared with the 2018 Taylor County adopted rate, if Senate Bill 2 is adopted, homeowners would pay $16.60 less in 2019 for every $100,000 valuation.

KTXS also reached out to the City of Abilene for comment and received the following statement from Abilene City Manager Robert Hanna:

"The state legislature has a difficult job ahead of them. Personally, I don't think 2.5 percent will survive into the final version of the bill. It would be wise to consider exceptions for public safety and our state and local court systems."

If Taylor County can not stay within the 2.5 percent rollback rate limit, they will have to call for a rollback election, meaning that the voters will decide if the tax rate should increase.

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