Burkburnett residents have property tax cap raised during pandemic

Local News

BURKBURNETT (KFDX KJTL )—Next month, Burkburnett city commissioners could decide to raise property taxes after a change in state legislation.

“I don’t think they need to raise taxes for nothing, we pay taxes on everything you get your paycheck you’re taxed you go to the store they tax it any place you go your taxed,” Burkburnett resident Benny Helton said.

Residents like Helton are upset after Burkburnett commissioners voted Friday to approve a resolution on a little known specification.

It allows taxing entities to go back to the old 8% cap in property tax increases instead of the 3.5% cap passed in Senate Bill 2, which is aimed at reducing property tax hikes.

“There is a provision in the law under the new tax cap legislation act you can ask for a rerating or recalculation according to disasters so as long as the president and the governor has declared a state of a disaster which they have and your board approves of that then you can appeal to that legislation,” Burkburnett City Manager Lawerence Cutrone said.

This comes into play when the state is under a disaster order, such as the COVID-19 order and an automatic rollback election would also not be triggered as Senate Bill 2 requires.

“We have done so cause we are not out of the dark yet with COVID and we are approaching winter and there is no telling what it will cause this winter,” Cutrone said.

And Burkburnett isn’t the only city to enact this measure to pay for COVID-19 related costs and losses of revenue.

“It’s already causing a demand on us and staff per all the contact tracing and other programs and executive orders there has been just a lot of work going on with them and COVID,” Cutrone said.

Helton disagrees with the approval of this resolution.

“Eight percent more on taxes I don’t need them to do that, I been paying them every year have been dedicated since I had my house down here, I use to have a trailer house here and after that, I have had three homes,” Helton said.

Next month Cutrone said commissioners will vote on the recalculations.

City leaders want to remind residents that the return to the old maximum increase is only allowed while the disaster order is in place.

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