Residents say no to property tax hike

HARLINGEN — Taxpayers want to know why city commissioners have even mentioned a property tax increase.

In the first of two public hearings for the city’s proposed tax rate yesterday at noon, four residents spoke out against a tax increase.

The city’s current tax rate of 58 cents per $100 valuation is expected to raise an additional $707,000 in the upcoming fiscal year as a result of increases in assessed property values.

“It appears property tax has had nice increases for the city and sales tax also has risen,” Bill DeBrooke, chairman of the Downtown Improvement District, told commissioners. “Why does the city need a tax rate increase? What’s going on?”

Buck Bickley, of H20 Only, told commissioners money paid to Bass Pro Shops has drained city coffers of $15 million over the past five years.

“Why do you want to tax us again for something that has gone astray?” Bickley asked. “I don’t think we should be in real estate development.”

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Story Highlights

-Property tax currently at 58 cents per $100 valuation

-4 citizens raised concerns over tax hike at public hearing

-Harlingen will hold its next public hearing for the budget on Wednesday