Dumas ISD facing property tax lawsuit - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Dumas ISD facing property tax lawsuit

Source: KFDA Source: KFDA

Dumas ISD is facing a lawsuit from local residents with support from the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton regarding reduced property tax exemptions.

School districts in Texas have always offered property tax exemptions to city residents.

But in 2015, the state legislature increased its mandatory property tax exemptions by $10,000, putting the amount at $25,000.

That was added in addition to existing school district-set exemptions.

Legislators said this would provide a much needed property tax reduction to homesteaders with no downside to school districts since the tax breaks were paid for in the state budget.

Since the state upped it's exemption amount, Dumas ISD decided to reduce its additional tax exemptions to bring more money back into the district.

That did not sit well with many residents, or Paxton, who said this change was illegal.

"The school district is taking Texas homeowners' hard-earned money in violation of Texas law," said Paxton.

The legal fight began almost as soon as voters approved the constitutional amendment to add more tax exemptions in 2015.

A Dumas couple filed the lawsuit, and Paxton officially intervened this week.

He said he is confident the state will win the case.

White Deer and Gruver took similar actions to reduce their tax breaks. 

Paxton's office is involved in a lawsuit in White Deer with the same issues as the one in Dumas.

Dumas ISD's superintendent declined to interview Thursday but said the district will be sending out a statement on the issue by Friday afternoon.

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