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Plano City Council denies tax relief appeals



PLANO, TX – The Plano City Council Monday evening denied two appeals for property tax relief through the city’s Heritage Tax Exemption Program Ordinance.

The appeals were brought to the council by Lead Planner in the Comprehensive Planning Division Mike Bell. The two properties are located on East 15th Street near downtown and 18th Street.

According to the ordinance, the city of Plano can exempt a property from all or part of taxation of its assessed value if the structure is designated as a historically or archaeologically significant site in need of tax relief to encourage its preservation.

“This is not a situation where these properties have been fined,” Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Ricciardelli said during the meeting.

“This is a situation where everyone in the city pays property taxes on the property they own, and because the city wants to encourage heritage preservation, we essentially pay property owners to maintain their property in a way that encourages historic preservation by giving them a break on the property taxes that they would otherwise pay in exchange for doing so,” he added.

The two properties were previously deemed ineligible for tax relief through the ordinance due to maintenance issues with the structures and properties.

Resident Bill Lisle is the owner of one of the properties that submitted an appeal.

Speaking on Ricciardelli’s clarification of the ordinance, Lisle said, “It is not an opt-in-opt-out. Because that property is in that neighborhood, we have to do everything the heritage preservation group tells us.”

“If I could opt out, I would opt out, we have to do it. And then, if we do it, per very specific guidelines, we get a tax exemption,” he added.

After public comments, Mayor Harry LaRosiliere said, “I just want us to always be cautious of how we sit here at the dais and think what a snap judgment on the decision that’s made by someone who is a professional and does this on a day-to-day basis.”