Better East Texas: Proposed tax increase for Tyler residents

Better East Texas: Proposed tax increase for Tyler residents

(KLTV) - The City of Tyler recently unveiled the 2014 budget and for the first time in years city management is asking for an increase in the property tax rate.

Tyler has one of the lowest property tax rates in the state for cities of a comparable size and, for years, city leaders have waved this flag as the hallmark for the city's fiscal style. But growth in the city has continued and city services, such as fire and police systems, parks and other municipal expense centers, have been pinched.

I am not a proponent of higher taxes unless there is a demonstrated need and it is evident the city of Tyler is challenged to maintain a level of city services that citizens' expect. Additionally, the property tax rate increase sounds like an extreme percent increase but the dollar amount is not so unreasonable as it totals a little more than $1800 annually on a $150,000 home.

The increase would move Tyler up some on the tax rate ladder but, if approved by the city council, the new tax rate would still be one of the lowest around and provide an estimated $800,000 into the general fund. Believe it or not, that is only a drop in the bucket of what is truly needed. Citizens of Tyler need to give their feedback to the city council and consider this increase. Perhaps it is time, perhaps not, but to keep Tyler rosy will take an increase in revenue at some point.

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