MCALLEN, Texas – U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez says counties should not increase property rates based on appraisals taken before the coronavirus.
Gonzalez said he knows counties will be hurting due to the downturn in the economy. However, he said homeowners and property owners should not be asked to pick up the slack. Rather, he said, the federal government should step in and provide more funding to counties.
At a news conference at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce this week, Gonzalez said:
“I do not think we should be raising property taxes this year because of evaluations from last year. We are living in different economic times. With that said, I know counties continue to have expenditures. I think we need to go back to Washington and figure out how to cover that gap to ensure homeowners and property owners do not have a rate hike on their property taxes. This is very, very, important.”
Gonzalez provided an example.
“If you had a ten percent property rate increase from last year to this, probably, if you are putting your house on the market right now, you are not going to get that ten percent. So, it is an unfair increase. It is very complex and it is very difficult for county judges around the state and around the country but I think the federal government needs to step in and fill in the gap of increases in expenditures for counties and ensure that the average American does not have an unnecessary and unfair property tax increase.”
Gonzalez, D-McAllen, said counties should not be blamed for the predicament they are in.
“You cannot blame county governments. They are doing the best they can with what they have. The state government and the federal government need to step in and assure that they are going to be in the same place and make them whole without hurting homeowners and property owners with rate increases that I believe are not based on practical evidence at this point,” Gonzalez said.
“If your property went up ten percent in 2019, I can guarantee you that if you put it up on the market today, you are not going to have that increase when you sell your property. So, it would be unfair to tax people for a rate that is not actual.”
The National Association of Realtors found that sales of newly built single-family homes decreased by 15.4 percent in March. Existing home sales dropped by 8.5 percent. The group said it expects the price of houses to drop in the months ahead.
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