Property taxes and seniors

Kathleen Wazny

It’s time to freeze property taxes for seniors in Denton. The Texas Constitution has a provision that allows for this action in Article 8, Sec. 1-b(h).

Over 200 cities, counties and junior college districts in Texas have already frozen their property taxes for seniors who are age 65 or older and for those who are disabled. The law reads that the property must be homesteaded.

There are two paths to achieve this property tax freeze: (1) the local governing body can voluntarily pass the tax freeze, or (2) citizens can gather petition signatures signed by five percent of the registered voters of the city, county or junior college district. In this case it would be five percent of the registered voters in the City of Denton. According to the latest statistics that number would be approximately 3,700 signatures.

There is a timeline to follow on the petition: when it must be submitted to the city, the time allowed for the city to review it, etc. There is also a petition format that must be followed and rules for who can sign the petition. Once the petition has been submitted and it meets all legal requirements, the tax freeze would be placed on the ballot in the next election cycle. Complicated? Yes. Impossible to achieve? No.

Of the 218 cities, counties and junior college districts that have passed this tax freeze, some were passed voluntarily and some were citizen petition driven.

School taxes are already frozen for seniors age 65 and over and for those who are disabled. The properties must be homesteaded. This property tax freeze would cover the property taxes assessed by the City of Denton.

Property values are climbing, and that means escalating property taxes for seniors on fixed incomes.

It’s time for the City of Denton to take a serious look at this tax freeze. I’m prepared to bring it to the City Council. Citizens need to be prepared to give it support before the Council and/or take it to a petition drive in order to place it on the ballot.

We were successful with our Robson Ranch Ambulance/Fire taskforce. Now it’s time to form a Robson Ranch taskforce on property taxes. Please watch the HOA email notices and message board for information about the taskforce. If you would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

It’s an honor to serve.