Dallas resident launches effort to roll back property taxes

It’s not exactly the shot heard round the world, but neighborhood resident Allen Gwinn is in the news again, this time as he attempts to put together a city ballot referendum to permanently lower city property taxes and require voters to approve future increases.

WFAA reports that Gwinn has put together a website — taxrollback.org — and he’s attempting to raise money to fund obtaining enough signatures for his proposed ballot referendum. According to the story, Gwinn wants to roll the city’s property tax take back from the current 79 cents per hundred dollars of assessed value to 59 cents per hundred dollars — a number Gwinn says is more in line with neighboring suburbs such as Plano, McKinney and Allen.

The website is worth visiting — it will take all of about five minutes to read the entire thing, and his arguments are rationally framed. It also makes Gwinn’s goals pretty clear — roll back the tax rate and ensure that any future increases are on the same ballot with the city council races. Gwinn’s reasoning is hard to dispute: If we’re voting on a tax rate increase at the same time we’re voting on council reps, it shouldn’t take a genius to match which politicians favor tax increases and then vote accordingly.

Gwinn is using the same electoral process utilized by those opposed to the Trinity Tollroad, those who fought the Downtown convention center hotel and those who favored the recent wet-dry vote. Knowing we’ll vote on tax increases certainly will focus politicians’ attention on how much is getting spent downtown.

My only dispute with Gwinn’s reasoning here is that he seems to base the entire project on his feeling that the council members who voted for the recent tax increase were cavalier with their votes. I still am not quite sure what I think of the tax increase, but I’m satisfied that the people who voted in favor of it put plenty of thought into their decision.

No matter, though — Gwinn is using the system the way it’s intended.


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