The southwest Bexar County suburb of Von Ormy has become the first community in the county to eliminate property taxes, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.
Mayor Art Martinez de Vara says the property tax is an antiquated relict of the post Civil War Texas constitution and should be phased out in favor of consumption taxes and other fairer taxes.
"Property taxation is the greatest threat to continued home ownership, and the ability of people to pass on property to the next generation," Martinez de Vara said.
Of course, Von Ormy residents will still have to pay county and special district property taxes, but Martinez de Vara says he's pleased that his community can say goodbye to the property tax. He says he hopes the idea of abolishing property taxes 'goes viral.'
"Our city's low tax/no fee environment encouraged small business expansion that greatly increased the city's sales tax revenue," he said. "We began offering relief to Von Ormy taxpayers at the height of the recession. I believe that government should not spend every penny is collects, rather we should spend what is necessary to deliver high quality core services to our residents. Excess taxation is unjust taxation."
He says Von Ormy's position straddling I-35 on the way to the Eagle Ford oilfields has been a great help in setting up a taxation system based on consumption and not property ownership. He says the fact that agricultural property gets tax breaks pushes the burden of taxation onto homeowners.
Martinez de Vara calls Von Ormy a 'Liberty City' and says in addition to no property tax, Von Ormy also has no youth curfew, no cigarette restrictions, and no restrictions on firearms.