Adjust those tax rates!

The past few years, Waco has experienced an increase in the valuation of houses and property that produces taxes that far exceeds the inflation rate, which measures an individual’s ability to pay. It not only brings about excess taxes each year but produces a cumulative compounding effect that is not often realized.

The following estimates are based on Waco, McLennan County, McLennan Community College and Midway ISD tax rates and adjustments for a homestead house using 2018 tax rates. It is assumed that the annual inflation rate and corresponding income increase of the taxpayer is 2.5 percent.

For a homestead currently valued at $200,000, if property values increase at 2.5 percent, then over a 10-year period the annual taxes would increase from $4,500 to $5,700. The property valuation would be $250,000. In this case, taxes follow inflation and the increase is reasonable.

If the valuation and taxes increase 5 percent annually, the house value in 10 years would be $310,000 and the annual taxes $7,000. A $1,300 tax increase above inflation for the 10th year. The cumulative tax increased payment for the 10 years would be $6,200. In 20 years the additional taxes paid would total $34,000.

For a 10 percent annual increase, which many of us have received, in 10 years the annual tax would be $10,700, with a cumulative 10-year added tax payment of $21,500. In 20 years the cumulative added tax paid would be $144,000.

If the 10 percent annual increases only last 10 years, then drops back to inflation levels for the next 10 years, in the 20 years the cumulative added taxes paid would be $79,000.

If the various taxing authorities do not adjust rates down each year to produce reasonable tax values, then taxpayers will be taxed excessively. Each year where rates are not adjusted produces a long-term cumulative effect. A larger percentage of individual’s income will be going to pay property taxes, thus decreasing livable income.

Don Hardcastle, Waco

History lesson

I beg to differ with Doel Garcia’s premise of April 26 that the United States Constitution was founded on the Bible. Nope. Any basic sixth-grade civics class teaches the seven basic principles on which the U.S. Constitution was based.

Those seven principles are: popular sovereignty, limited government, separation of powers, checks and balances, judicial review, federalism and individual rights. James Madison wrote, “In Europe, charters of liberty have been granted by power. America has set the example...of charters of power granted by liberty.

Those who wrote the Constitution did not want a monarchy as our system of government. The Framers were influenced by philosophers of the Enlightenment but were also inspired by their own experiences as British colonial subjects.

The U.S. Constitution was not based on the Bible but basic tenets to reflect common good and limited government.

Donna M. Myers, Waco