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What happens if a city's property tax revenue is frozen?

Gov. proposes freezing revenues for cities who defund police
Police
Posted at 10:13 PM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 23:53:32-04

Governor Greg Abbott announced a legislative proposal Tuesday that will make leaders think twice before choosing to defund their police department.

"The way this proposal works is this... any city that defunds police departments will have its property tax revenue frozen at the current level," Gov. Abbott said. "They will never be able to increase property tax revenue."

Cities depend heavily on taxpayer dollars for things like road maintenance, community programs, and most of all, keeping their community safe with with law enforcement, but what happens if their property tax revenue is frozen?

Temple City Mayor Tim Davis says it would put a city in a great bind.

"The needs are great. Expenses don't go down, so it would be devastating to a city budget. Citizens are still going to expect the services, and with shrinking dollars, it's very difficult," explained the mayor.

The governor's proposal comes after the City of Austin recently slashed $150 million dollars from its police department.

"The fact of the matter is, if we have lawlessness in our cities caused by local decision making, then it will cause chaos throughout the community and we are not going to allow it, this will be an effective tool," said Gov. Abbott.

Homeowner Tommie Ferguson says that as a taxpayer, it's important she knows where her money is going.

"It's scary to know that we could possibly end up without resources for our community and not knowing where funding is going. We are paying taxes and we want to know where its going," she said.

Ferguson says when she think of defunding police, she thinks everyone could be impacted.

"We have so many car accidents. They answer to those calls and child abuse calls and sex trafficking. There is so much that police do for our community that its concerning that we may have less officers on the street," said Ferguson.

She hopes the City of Belton, where she lives, will not cut their police budget and hopes the community will continue protecting law enforcement the way they protect them.