A Better East Texas - Local Budget Season

A Better East Texas - Local Budget Season
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 3:57 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - With the Fall season approaching, the challenge of municipalities planning for the next year has taken center stage in cities and counties around East Texas. And this year has been doubly challenging for these entities to present and pass operating budgets. The issue is that many home appraisals have increased, causing more property taxes to be collected. But while some government bodies choose to lower the tax rate to lessen the burden, there really isn’t a tax savings. Add on the pressure of rising costs, thanks to inflation on goods and services and the pressure to pay employees at a competitive rate, and you have a financial choke point. The State will bring some relief to homeowners with lower property taxes but, again, inflation is eating up savings. The bottom line is that almost all of us need to prepare to pay a higher amount in city and county taxes. It is just a mathematical fact, even if the rate is reduced some. That demands that our elected officials be the best stewards of our money. They need to continually look for savings and have a plan to pivot when financial realities change. Through that testing and discipline, residents will either grow in respect – think reelection – or consider changes come the next election cycle. These realities truly impact us more than many of the national political fodder that we argue about constantly. Invest some time in learning how your local government is operating, and then make sure your representatives are responsible – and that will make for a Better East Texas.