Texas Lawmakers Prioritize Property Tax Relief
What do New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Texas and Taxachusetts (Massachusetts) have in common?
These five states consistently have the highest property taxes in the United States. Also, property tax collections have grown by more than 20% from 2017 to 2021, according to the Texas Comptroller’s Office. That’s the bad news for Texas.
The good news is that Governor Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Patrick and House Speaker Phelan have shared their commitment to invest a substantial portion of the $32.7 billion surplus revenue from the 2022-2023 biennium into property tax relief for Texans.
During his State of the State Address on February 16, Governor Greg Abbott declared property tax relief as an emergency item while stating the “large surplus means a large property tax cut” and “that money belongs to the taxpayers.” Abbott has said he would ensure lasting property tax relief by spending $15 billion in state funds to provide property tax relief.
The Texas Senate has demonstrated its commitment to property tax relief through the filing of Senate Bill 3 and Senate Joint Resolution 3. The Texas Senate press release on March 2, 2023 outlines the plan to have Texans vote on the single largest ISD Property Tax Homestead Exemption increase in Texas history. If approved, Texans would see their homestead exemption for their primary residence increase from $40,000 to $70,000. According to the press release, homeowners could save $341 per year in property taxes. Property tax relief through this increase in homestead exemption is estimated as $3 billion.
“Property taxes continue to burden small businesses and Texas homeowners. Prioritizing property tax relief is essential to help hardworking Texans now and in the future. I am supporting Senate Bill 3, which increases the Homestead Exemption amount from $40,000 to $70,000 to bring historic savings on property tax bills,” Senate Chairman Charles Schwertner.
Also on March 2, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan issued a press release announcing House Bill 2, also known as the Property Tax Relief Act, which would cut school property taxes by 28% and prevent property values from increasing by more than 5% each year. Under current Texas law the appraised value of residential property can increase up to 10% each year. House Bill 2, through House Joint Resolution 1, would place the Property Tax Relief Act on the ballot for Texans to decide. If approved by voters, the Property Tax Relief Act would provide $17 billion in relief to Texas taxpayers.
Many other proposals are being considered within the Texas Senate and Texas House to provide property tax relief to businesses and citizens.
The Business Climate Council supports these property tax efforts for the benefit of Round Rock area businesses and citizens. For more information on the Round Rock Chamber’s priorities for the 88th Legislative Session, click here.
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