Call To Action: Revenue Caps On House Floor and Eligible On Senate Floor

April 12, 2019

Legislative News

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Please call your state senator and state representative to let them know the effect that HB 2 and SB 2 would have on the services you provide your county and community.

Set out below is a letter to the Legislature asking that county concerns be considered in the debate on HB 2 and SB 2.

Dear Representative,

The State of Texas relies on its counties to provide basic, essential services and implement many of the laws passed by the Legislature. Counties have no alternative revenue source, such as the sales tax, and must depend upon the property tax to fund these required services. Unfortunately, some in the Legislature may not have taken this into consideration.

The same day the Texas House passed HB 1, which depends on local school property tax revenue increasing during the next biennium, the House Committee on Ways and Means approved HB 2 to cap county revenues at 2.5% per year with a mandatory election for any further increase.

HB 2 excludes school districts – the largest driver of local property taxes and property tax increases – from the reduced revenue cap. It has to because HB 1 relies on school tax revenue increasing to balance the budget.

HB 2 contains no taxpayer protections from the state passing more required services down to be funded at the local level with increased property taxes. So current and future members of the Texas Legislature can demand local tax dollars be spent on new state services, and those new requirements will be counted against the 2.5% cap. Of course, when that happens legislators try to proclaim that they didn’t raise property taxes. That’s just not right.

The state requires local taxpayers to pay for the following state obligations:

  • Defense lawyers for poor criminal defendants. Since 2001, these costs have ballooned from $91 million to more than $276 million statewide in FY 2018. Much of that increase is due to a law passed by the Legislature in 2001.
  • Attorneys for both children and their abusive parents when the state seeks to take the children from their parents. And because the state does not budget for enough attorneys to represent the Department of Protective and Family Services, local county and district attorneys – paid by local taxpayers – represent the Department for free. So local taxpayers have to pay for attorneys on all sides of these lawsuits. The costs of appointed private attorneys have increased at an average annual rate of more than 5% statewide over the last 5 years to $52 million in 2017. In addition, because the state’s foster care system is in such poor shape, there is legislation moving through the process right now which will require local taxpayers to pay private attorneys for foster kids who are in the custody of the state in order to protect those kids.
  • Housing and providing medical care to convicted felons in local jails until the state picks them up and transports them to state prisons, which can take as much as 45 days. The cost to local taxpayers was $94.5 million in 2017.
  • Housing and providing medical care to convicted felons on parole in local jails while the state decides whether to revoke parole. On the average day, more than 2,100 of these felons are being held in local jails – all paid for by local taxpayers. In 2017, the cost to local taxpayers was $47.7 million.

In addition, counties are responsible for funding courts, elections, law enforcement and jails, public buildings, public health and indigent medical services, rural fire protection, roads and transportation, and public records. These are just a few examples of the many state costs paid by local property taxes. Some of these services must be reduced or deleted to meet the uncontrollable, increasing costs that consistently exceed 2.5 percent.

Counties continue to serve as the state’s partner in implementing those basic services our citizens demand and expect. We sincerely hope the State Legislature will restore its partnership with counties and stop trying to inhibit counties and their local elected officials from doing their jobs.

We respectfully ask you to continue working with your local county officials to reach a more equitable solution.

View Full List of Signatures

First Name Last Name Office County
Adrian Garcia Commissioner Harris
Albert Ray Commissioner Pct 2 Erath
Alfonso Campos Judge Erath
Alicia Whipple Auditor Fannin
Alonzo Morales Commissioner Pct 2 Goliad
Angela Sanchez County Auditor Scurry
B.J. Westmoreland Commissioner Pct 1 Caldwell
Barbara Walker Commissioner Pct 3 Grimes
Becky Mauldin County Fisher
Becky Wilbanks County Judge Cass
Belinda Brownlow Justice Court Pct 5 Henderson
Bella Rubio Judge Real
Benny Wilson County Judge Hansford
Benny Allison Sheriff Borden
Beverly McClellan Auditor Kaufman
Bill Schumann Commissioner Bell
Bill Ford Commissioner Pct. 4  
Bob Davis Justice of the Peace Hansford
Bobbie Mitchell Commissioner Pct 3  
Bobby Stovall County Judge Hunt
Botie Hillhouse Sheriff Henderson
Carroll Gerber Judge Castro
Charles Morris Commissioner Garza
Charles Ellision Judge  
Charles Ellison County Judge Yoakum
Charles McHam Commissioner Pct 3 Lamar
Charles Wolf Judge Winkler
Charlie Treadwell Commissioner Marion
Chris Porter Judge Gray
Christina Bergmann Commissioner Pct 1 Kendall
Cindy Irwin County Judge Hutchinson
Cindy Mueller County Auditor Calhoun
Cindy Winchester County Auditor Runnels
Cindy Yeatts Brown County Treasurer Denton
Cliff Harris Sheriff Pecos
Corinna Speer Auditor Kendall
Cory Deberry Commissioner Lamb
D.J. Wagner County Judge Terry
Dan Looten County Judge Carson
Dan Hicks Judge Scurry
Danny Short Commissioner Lamb
Daryl Melton Judge Sabine
David Warren Sheriff Navarro
David Blackburn County Judge Bell
David Krebs Judge San Patricio
David Grubbs Constable PCT3 Henderson
Debbie Southwell Treasurer Medina
Dee Vaughan Commissioner Moore
Dee Stephens Commissioner Pct 1 Erath
Delbert Roberts County Judge Kimble
Dennis Bailey Commissioner  
Devan Allen Commissioner Pct 2 Tarrant
Dolores Ortega Carter County Treasurer Travis
Don Koester Commissioner Pct 1 Washington
Don Allred County Judge Oldham
Donnie Schuch County Commissioner Gillespie
Doug Mathews Commissioner Pct 4  
Dylan Osborne County Treasurer Harris
Eddie Arnold Cmmisioner Pct. 1 Jefferson
Ellen Friar Auditor Loving
Eric O'Dell County Commissioner Stephens
Ernest Reyes County Commissioner Borden
Foy O'Brien County Judge Dawson
G. Scott Kniffen County Judge Callahan
G. Scott Kniffen Judge Callahan
Gary Worley Commissioner Brown
Gary Fickes Commissioner, Pct. 3 Tarrant
Gayla Hawkins County Treasurer Grayson
George Briant County Judge Hemphill
Glen Whitley County Judge Tarrant
Glenn Dorough Commissioner Marion
Grace Everhart Tax Assessor-Collector Comanche
Greg Holly County Judge Ward
Greg Stansell County Commissioner Borden
Greg Sowell Judge Nacogdoches
Greg Chapin Commissioner Pct 1 Anderson
Grover Worsham Commissioner Trinity
H.M. Davenport Judge Navarro
Hal Spain County Judge Coke
Hope Williams Commissioner Pct./ 3 Young
Hoppy Haden County Judge Caldwell
Jackie Skinner County Auditor Tyler
James Tirey County Attorney Hale
James A. "Tony" Duncan Justice Court Pct. 3  
Jana Underwood County Clerk Borden
Jana Young County Tax Collector  
Jane Jones Justice Court Pct. 1 Borden
Janet Torres County and District Clerk Hansford
Jason Brinkley County Judge Cooke
Jason Brinkley County Judge Cooke
JEAN HARDMAN JP PCT 2 Carson
JEFF BOYD COUNTY JUDGE  
Jeff Williams Commissioner Garza
Jeff Branick Judge Jefferson
Jeneane Anderegg Commissioner Andrews
Jennifer Carey Tax Assessor-Collector Erath
Jennifer Easley Justice of the Peace Morris
Jerry Alexander Commissioner Dickens
Jerry Bearden County Judge Mason
Jerry Beck Commissioner Pct. 4 Medina
Jerry Parker JP3  
Jerry Benham Commissioner Garza
Jerry Stringer Commissioner Pct#3 Johnson
Jill Sklar County Judge Washington
Jim White County Judge Cochran
jim Robinson Commissioner Pct. 1 Scurry
Joe McKnight Commissioner Marion
JOE BROWN Commissioner Pct 3 Erath
JOE Shuster County Judge Pecos
Joe Humphrey Commissioner Pct 4 Rains
Joey Hill Commissioner Pct 4 Anderson
John Smith Auditor Harris
John Durrenberger County Judge Washington
John Driver Commissioner Pct. 4 Bell
John "Ed" Russell County Commissioner Stephens
John C. Bullock County Judge Young
Johnny Wagner Commissioner Hamilton
Jonathan Letz Commissioner Kerr
Joy Fuchs County Commissioner Washington
JR Ashley Commissioner Marion
Judy Crumrine Tax Assessor-Collector Crane
Justin Rodriguez Commissioner Pct 2 Bexar
Kathryn Wiseman County Judge Howard
Kathryn Wiseman Judge Howard
Keith Kramer Commissioner Pct. 2 Gillespie
Ken Holt County Judge Fisher
Ken R. DeMerchant Commissioner Fort Bend
Kenneth Dickson Commissioner Pct 3 Anderson
Kent Birdsong County Attorney Oldham
Kent Lewis Commissioner Lamb
Kermit Kennedy Commissioner Pct. 2 Angelina
Kermit Kennedy Commissioner Pct. 2 Angelina
Kevin Pollock JP2 Henderson
KP George County Judge Fort Bend
Larry Crump Auditor Gillespie
Larry Traweek Commissioner Brown
Larry Wiley Commissioner Pct 4 Wilson
Lee Logan Commissioner Lamb
Lee Norman Judge Garza
Leo Hung County Judge Reeves
Leon Klement Commissioner Cooke
Leon Church Co. Commissioner Potter
Leward LaFleur County Judge Marion
Linda Cummings Tax Assessor-Collector  
Linda Raschke Commissioner Pct 2 LLano
Lisa Perry County Auditor Jack
Lisa Johnson Co. & Dist. Clerk Hemphill
Liz Chapman County Clerk Pecos
Lucy Hebron County Judge Wood
Lucy Adame-Clark Bexar County Clerk Bexar
Lynn French County Treasurer Hansford
Magness Jerry Commissioner Pct 3 Fannin
Mariano Pargas Commissioner Pct 2 Uvalde
Mark Murphey Commissioner Montague
Mark Meuth Commissioner Bastrop
Mark McCullough County Commissioner Stephens
Mark Christopher COUNTY JUDGE Forard
Mark Staples County Clerk Anderson
Mark Stroeher County Judge Wood
Mark Harkness Commissioner Pct 4 Nacogdoches
Marlo Holbrooks County Attorney Borden
Mary Margaret Wright County Clerk  
Matt Coates sheriff  
Matt Sebesta County Judge Brazoria
Melissa Burks Tax Assessor-Collector Newton
Michael Roach County Judge Stephens
Mickey Simpson County Judge Lipscomb
Mickey Perry Commissioner Pct 3 Pecos
Mike Smith Commissioner Dickens
Mike Carter Commissioner Bowie
Mike Bennett County Judge Goliad
Mike Sipes Commissioner Pct. 1 Young
Mike DeLoach County Judge Lamb
Mike Hartman County Attorney Scurry
Mike Sandoval Commissioner Pct 3 Llano
Mike Willis Commissioner Pct 2 Rains
Mike Simmons Commissioner Pct 3  
Milton Purvis Commissioner Polk
Mitzi Baker Treasurer  
Miykael Reeve County Auditor Ellis
Monte Smith County Commissioner Borden
Nancy Potter Judge  
Nelson Wolff County Judge Bexar
Oscar M Garcia Commissioner Howard
Patsy Marshall Commissioner Pct. 1 Rains
Patsy Phifer County Treasurer Comanche
Paul Fischer County Judge Lee
Pete Jasso Martinez Treasurer Frio
Ralph Brockman Commissioner Castro
Randall Williams Commissior Pct. 1  
Randall Hoyer County Judge Lampasas
Randall D. Williams Commissioner  
Randy Adcock County Commissioner Borden
Randy Daniel Justice of the Peace Henderson
Rashad Mims Commissioner Pct 2 Anderson
Ray Powell Judge Hall
Raymie Kana Auditor Colorado
Richard Evans County Judge Bandera
Richard Randle Commissioner DeWitt
Richard Graf County Commissioner Frio
Richard Jackson Judge Wilson
Rick Tennant County Judge Roberts
Rick Tennant County Judge Roberts
Rick Lewis County Judge Montague
Robert Johnston County Judge Anderson
Robert Hurley County Judge Atascosa
Robert Fitzgibbons Justice Court Pct. 1 Plc. 2 Howard
Robert Gonzales Commissioner Pct 2 Pecos
Rodney Ellis Commissioner Harris
Roger Harmon County Judge Johnson
Ronald Cotton Commisioner Pct. 2 Hood
Ross Sharp County Judge Borden
Roy Mints Commissioner Runnels
Ruby Lesley County Clerk Comanche
Rusty Stafford County Judge Young
S Renee Tidwell Auditor Tarrant
Sandra Burns Tax Assessor Collector Kenedy
Santa Acosta County Tax Collector  
Santiago Cantu, Jr. Commissioner Pct. 4 Pecos
Scott Felton County Judge Mclennan
Scotty Thomas Commissioner Pct 1 Henderson
Sergio "Chico" Rodriguez Commissioner Pct 1 Bexar
Shawna Gass Treasurer Borden
Shirley Penner Auditor Hockley
Skelton Robert County Judge Shackelford
Sonia Murphy Treasurer Pecos
Sonny Berry Commissioner Pct. 4 Hudspeth
Stephanie Moreno Judge Bee
Stephanie Davis County Judge Comanche
Steve Smith Sutton Co. Judge Sutton
Steve Aldrich Commissioner Brazos
Sue Ann Harper Tax Assessor Collector  
Summer Lovelace County Clerk Yoakum
Susan Yeatts County Auditor Bexar
Tammy Biggar County Clerk Fannin
Tammy Wells County Auditor Cass
Tara Holliday County Treasurer Anderson
Ted Brannon Commissioner Garza
Teresia Coker District clerk Anderson
Teri Hanks County Tax Collector Anderson
Terri Carter County Judge Sherman
Terri Sellars Auditor Wood
Terry Pitts Commissioner Angelina
Terry Williams Commissioner Pct. 1 Scurry
Theresa Daniel Commissioner Pct 1 Dallas
Todd Jagger Commissioner Pct 2 Jeff Davis
Tom Keyes County Judge Gaines
Tom Chapman Commissioner Pct. 1 Pecos
Tony Leago County Judge Madison
Tracy Soldan Treasurer Kerr
Trey Ellis County Judge Parmer
Trey Duhon Judge Waller
Trey Wilson Sheriff Scurry
Ty Prause Judge Colorado
Vickie Smith County Clerk Marion
W. Mark Tynes Judge Hamilton
Wade McKinney County Judge Henderson
Wayne Shaw Commissioner Brown
Wayne Nance Briscoe Co. Judge Briscoe
Will Warren County Commissioner Stephens
William Mitchell County Judge Uvlade
Armando Rodriguez Commissioner Ector
Betty Sue Allen Treasurer Franklin
Beverly Schmidt Treasurer Bandera
Billie Page Tax Assessor Angelina
Bryan Haevischer Treasurer Austin
Camille Hines Auditor Red River
Charles Wolf Judge Winkler
Chris Prock Commissioner Pct. 4 Hutchinson
Chris Davis Treasurer Cherokee
Cindy Gonzales Commissioner Kenedy
Clara Rutland Justice of the Peace Pct. 4 Wilson
Curt McPherson Commissioner Hemphill
Danny Chambers Judge Somervell
David Garza Commisioner Pct. 3 Cameron
David Blackburn COUNTY JUDGE Bell
Denise Salzbrenner Treasurer Carson
Dianna Spieker Treasurer Tom Green
Doc Wigington   Throckmorton
Dolores Ortega-Carter Treasurer Travis
Eddie Trevino, Jr. County Judge Cameron
Elaine D. Flynt, CPA Treasurer Castro
Foy O'Brien Judge Dawson
Gary Hollowell Commissioner Pct. 1 Cooke
Gary Moore Commissioner Pct. 2 San Patricio
Gilbert Saenz Judge Duval
Greg Tyra Judge Wilbarger
Gus Ruiz Commissioner Pct. 4 Cameron
Gwenda Tschirhart Tax Assessor-Collector Bandera
Hal Spain Judge Coke
Harold Keeter Judge Swisher
James Martin Commissioner Carson
Jamie Trammell Tax Assessor-Collector Coleman
Jan Hartl Treasurer Wilson
Jana Young Tax Assessor-Collector  
Jay Elliott Judge Falls
Jennifer Henderson Treasurer Schleicher
Jerri Ann Chambers Treasurer Coleman
Jim Luther Commissioner Pct. 1 Burnet
JIM WHITE COUNTY JUDGE KENT
Joey Lopez Commissioner Pct. 2 Cameron
John Floyd Constable Pct.4 Henderson
John James Judge Collingsworth
Karrie Crownover Treasurer Burnet
Kathy Sargent Treasurer Hutchinson
Ken DeMerchant Commissioner Pct. 4 Fort Bend
Kent Layton Constable Hunt
Kevin Hostas Treasurer Baylor
Kim Pittman Treasurer Camp
KP George County Judge Fort Bend
Leo Hung Judge Reeves
Lisa Smith Auditor Bastrop
LuAnne Terry Treasurer Garza
Mark Stroeher Judge Gillespie
Mary Horton Treasurer Jackson
Melissa Burks Tax Assessor-Collector  
Melody   County Clerk Scurry
Mike Campbell COUNTY JUDGE Clay
Mitch Shamburger Judge Smith
Molly Cummings Treasurer Morris
Norma Martinez Justice of the Peace Pct. 1 Scurry
Paul Foley Justice of the Peace Pct. 1 Rains
Renee Couch Treasurer Comal
Richard 'Dickie' Jackson Judge Wilson
Ricki Webb Justice of the Peace Pct. 2 Scurry
Rita Kelley Dir.Indigent Health Svcs. Bell
Robert Johnston County Judge Anderson
Robert Donnelly Commissioner Pct 2 Midland County
Roger Harmon Judge Johnson
Roy Cantu Commissioner Kleberg
Sarita Hixon Commissioner Pct. 3 Kenedy
Sharon Trigg Treasurer Stephens
Sofia Benavides Commissioner, Pct 1 Cameron
Stan Wojcik County Judge Knox
Stephen Floyd Judge Tom Green
Terrie Neuville Treasurer Marion
Todd Tefteller Judge Upshur
Tramer Woytek Judge Lavaca
Trey Ellis Judge Parmer
Vickie Smith County Clerk Marion
Wayne Wolfe County Judge Rains
Woodrow 'Woody' Gossom Judge Wichita
  Smith Treasurer Donley
Karen Lane Tax Assessor-Collector Madison
Larry Wiley Commissioner Pct 4 Wilson
Jackie Ensey County Clerk Stephens
Keeyawnia Hawkins Veteran Service Officer Bell
Carolyn Huelster Treasurer Irion
Jennifer Carey Tax Assessor-Collector Erath
Irma Cauley Commissioner Pct 4 Brazos
Renee Warren Treasurer Wheeler
Shonda Black Treasurer Bailey
Lois VanBeck Treasurer San Saba
Vickey Wederski County/District Clerk Cottle
Michael Harmon Emergency Management Coordinator Bell
Lesa Crosswhite Treasurer Taylor
Billy Bledsoe County Judge Coleman
  Jennings Treasurer Potter
Shawna Gass Treasurer Borden
Paul Pape County Judge Bastrop
Melvin Hamner Pct. 1 County Commissioner Bastrop
Michelle Darilek County Auditor (CPA) Jackson
Sharon Harper Treasurer Upton
Linda Raschke County Commissioner Pct. 2 Llano
Todd Jagger Commissioner Jeff Davis
Coleman Hampton Museum Director Bell
Lynnette Cruse Tax Assessor-Collector Tyler
Charles Kelly County Judge Ochiltree
Vicki Scott County Clerk Andrews
Rose Pietsch County Clerk Bastrop
Dawn Vieth Tax Assessor-Collector  
Larry Philipp Commissioner Pct. 3 Bosque
Adam Ward CIO - Director of IT Bell
Stephanie Davis County Judge Comanche
Ruby Lesley County Clerk Comanche
Patsy Phifer County Treasurer Comanche
Craig Willingham County Attorney Comanche
Jeff Lambert Sheriff Comanche
Grace Everheart Tax Assessor-Collector Comanche
Wayne Hunt Commissioner Pct 1 Jackson
Cindy Yeatts Brown County Treasurer Denton
Chris Meador Commissioner Pct 4 Schleicher
Billy Wall Commissioner Burnet
Bill McCay County Commissioner Pct. 1 Lubbock
Betty Crane County Clerk Franklin
Val McClain Elections Administrator Clay
Marla White County Auditor Franklin
Melissa Meador District/County Clerk Hartley
Ralph Brockman County Commissioner Pct. 4 Castro  
Ellen Jaggers District Clerk Franklin
Lora Nussbaum Elections Administrator Brewster
Janice McDaniel County Clerk Sabine
James McDaniel Commissioner Pct. 2  
J.D. Johnson Commissioner Pct 4 Tarrant
Robin Harper Tax Assessor-Collector Andrews
Darla Lookingbill District & County Clerk Oldham
Russell Scott Deputy CIO Tarrant
Mike Britten Commissioner Pct 1 Carson
Julie Parks Director Human Services Tarrant
Jody Johnson Constable Pct.4 Tarrant
Lesa Gilbert County Indigent Care Potter
Tina Glenn Dir Human Resources Tarrant
Lynette Schatte Coordin. Indigent Health Svcs Lee
Roberto Ruiz Commissioner Pct 4  
Janice Barnes County Clerk Hutchinson
Lisa Martin Asst Director Human Services Tarrant
Linda Harmon Tax Assessor-Collector Bastrop
Mike Pierce Commissioner Pct 3 Palo Pinto Co
Gary Glover Commissioner Pct 1 Palo Pinto Co
James Oakley County Judge Burnet
Haydee Torres District/County Clerk Kimble
Terri Carter County Judge Sherman
Mark Murphey Commissioner Montague
Clara Beckett Commissioner Pct. 2 Bastrop County
Darlene Huddle District Clerk Coleman County
Jeneane Anderegg Commissioner Pct 3 Andrews
Charles Olfers Commissioner Pct 1 Gillespie
Jerry Cooper Commissioner Pct 1 Franklin
Charlie Emerson Commissioner Pct 3 Franklin
Joe Gonzalez Commissioner Pct. 2 Nueces
Nancy Berry Commissioner Pct. 3 Brazos
Randy Hoyer Judge Lampasas
Roy Hodges Judge Crane
David Krebs Judge San Patricio
Ed Smith Judge Mills
Richard Kjackosn Judge Wilson
Santiago Flores Judge Terrell
Joe Shuster Judge Pecos
John C. Howard Judge Donley
Douglas Reeder Judge Morris

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