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Recently, Coppell Mayor Karen Hunt issued a call to action for residents to contact their state lawmakers.

During the week of July 10, Coppell Mayor Karen Hunt issued a city wide call to action through her column that was published in notable news outlets including the Citizens’ Advocate and Coppell Gazette.

Hunt emphasizes the potential interference from State government that residents should be wary and watchful of. The decisions during the upcoming Texas Legislature special session could especially alter the City’s “Vision 2030”, the growth of property taxes and hinder local spending.

Below is Coppell Mayor Karen’s column, “The legislature and local budgets”.

The Texas Legislature entered in to Special Session on July 18, and cities across Texas are bracing against the state’s efforts to takeover decision making at the local level.

As a matter of timing, your City Council and I have also begun holding budget workshops to discuss various issues and items for consideration in the upcoming fiscal year. Budget workshops are intended for the City Council to review projects, priorities and potential plans for the upcoming fiscal year and take public input regarding what the community would like to see in their city.

The state’s effort to centralize power over Texas cities would detrimentally impact our budget and financing ability without providing any real tax relief for our citizens. Over the years, city councils have worked to responsibly maintain the assets that make Coppell a Community of Choice.

From reconstructing aging roadways, sewer and water lines to redeveloping park facilities and working with community groups on special projects, elected and appointed officials invest in our city to ensure Coppell remains one of the most desirable places to live in the DFW Metroplex.

In 2017, based on the average home value in Coppell, property taxes paid by the homeowner totaled approximately $165 per month. For those dollars, Coppell residents receive emergency lifesaving services, cultural and recreational opportunities, well maintained roads, sidewalks and trails, parks and open spaces, various public facilities to enjoy, and a beautiful community with a high standard of maintenance and care.

Coppell citizens receive a tremendous amount of high value services for the city taxes paid.

Consider this: Coppell home, property and commercial values have increased steadily over the years, and as a result the City Council has lowered property tax rates for the past five years. Taxes paid by the average homeowner in Coppell have increased $73 over the past seven years. Thanks to conservative financial practices, Coppell is one of six cities in Texas that holds a AAA Municipal Bond Rating from Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.

In 2010 the community came together and adopted the Vision 2030 plan. The plan was developed with Coppell citizens who wanted to help guide future city leaders with priorities and a road map for community needs and services. We have a plan for our community and do not want the State limiting what our local elected representatives decide to do to meet the needs and vision of our citizens.

So what can you do? I urge all citizens to contact the two individuals representing us at the State. Ask them to turn their attention toward the real problem – the formula of school funding.

Contact your state lawmakers: State Rep. Matt Rinaldi – matt.rinaldi@house.texas.gov, 972-247-8994, 512-463-0468; State Sen. Don Huffines don.huffines@senate.texas.gov, 214-239-6131; 512-463-0116.