County officials opposing efforts by state to limit local control, impose revenue caps
Posted on 2/17/2017 7:15:00 AM.
(Seguin) -- Guadalupe County is taking a stand against possibly losing some local control of its government operation. The Guadalupe County Commissioners Court has unanimously approved a resolution "in support of opposing efforts by the Texas Legislature to limit local control and oppose efforts to impose revenue caps or appraisal caps upon Texas counties.”
County Judge Kyle Kutscher says the resolution rallies behind the county's own conservative efforts to keep the tax rate low.
"There was a resolution (for) commissioners court to oppose revenue caps that are trying to be imposed by the legislature in the state of Texas. In its simplest form, a revenue cap is a mechanism that basically caps a county or city's ability to increase taxes more than eight percent currently and what they're proposing is to reduce that cap from eight percent to four percent," said Kutscher.
Kutscher says while the impact might not initially be so great for Guadalupe County, it still takes control out of the peoples' hands via their elected officials.
"In Guadalupe County, we've been very fortunate to experience growth and conservative leadership and a consistent tax rate and very consistent and growing tax base which has been a benefit for us in being able to be prepared for growth and do construction projects and transportation projects. On one side, we believe as elected officials that we are closer to the people in our community -- that we know better than the state or the feds do. We don't want people from outside of this community coming and telling us what to do and how to do it. The voters are the ones who elect us and tell us how they want us to operate and we try to represent them to the best of our ability. On the other side of that with revenue caps, as a conservative, I happen to think that limiting certain politicians' ability to increase taxes over a certain amount isn't necessarily a bad thing. But again, it's a difficult decision that many are having at the state level and many are having at the county and city levels across the state and again, one that we had not had in commissioners court, but doesn't affect Guadalupe County quite as much as others, because we are in an upward trending growth pattern, increase in appraised values and taxes and w e have the ability to be conservative and still be prepared for growth," said Kutscher.
Kutscher says the county continues to maintain a close eye on all the proposed legislation on the table in Austin.
"There's a number of issues that are going to be discussed and decided on at the state level through this session of the legislature. But I want to reassure the tax payers of Guadalupe County that as commissioners court, we're going to do diligent in doing whatever we possibly can to make sure that we fund those services that are required and needed and important to the people who live here in our county, no matter what the state does. We will try to continue to communicate and work with the state legislators, representatives and senators to try to get things done that benefit the people of our county. It's unfortunate that if something gets passed that we did not want -- (that) we'll do our very best to make sure we serve our tax payers," said Kutscher.
County officials say a number of counties are also submitting similar resolutions. They say the Texas Association of Counties is also working hard to garner as much statewide support as possible.

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