Opinion: Freeze Property Taxes in Gentrifying Neighborhoods

A proposed bill in the Texas legislature would help prevent displacement of homeowners in areas experiencing reinvestment and redevelopment.

May 19, 2021, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

The Texas legislature is considering a pilot program that "would allow taxing entities to offer freezes to homeowners in gentrifying areas" in an effort to prevent displacement. The Dallas Morning News editorial board supports the proposal, arguing that "[t]oo often, reinvestment in historically neglected neighborhoods leads to displacement of the very people it might help" due to sudden increases in property taxes. House Bill 1577, a similar proposal targeting seven census tracts in South Dallas and Harris County, "would allow homeowners in targeted neighborhoods to have the assessed value of their property frozen until the 2037 tax year."

While they support the idea, the editorial board acknowledges that the bill "offers no relief to renters or small businesses owners" and "only buys time for homeowners."

"Dallas needs more tools than this one, such as more affordable housing, more diverse land use and more community input when planning developments. But this bill is a worthy tool that should be approved."

Tuesday, May 11, 2021 in Dallas Morning News

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