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TX Lege Struggling To Reach Compromise Over Property Taxes

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Earlier this year, Governor Greg Abbott called on Texas lawmakers to spend $15 billion to lower Texans' property taxes. Last week, Texas legislature struggled to reach a decision on how to provide this tax relief. 

With a $33 billion surplus, legislators have an unprecedented opportunity to make a significant impact on Texans' property taxes. The only issue is no one can agree on the best way to execute it. Senate Bill 3 would raise the homestead exemption from $40,000 to $70,000, providing homeowners with a school property tax break. House Bill 2, however, believes lowering the appraisal cap is the appropriate course of action. The House wants to see the appraisal cap decreased from 10 percent to 5 percent. 

The standoff between the two chambers is led by House Speaker, Dade Phelan, and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. Both have refused to let up, claiming that one proposal is more impactful than the other. Patrick says that he would not be able to compromise on something that he does not believe is the right policy. Phelan, on the other hand, questions how much tax relief would actually be provided to residents with Patrick's proposal. 

With property tax relief being a significant promise of Abbott's re-election campaign and being named on his emergency items list for his State of the State address, Republicans are pressed to reach an agreement in order to follow through with the promise. 

"We've never had $16.5 billion to throw at property tax relief," said State Senator Paul Bettencourt, who championed the tax relief effort, "and I believe it's going to be well received by the citizens, the taxpayers of the great state of Texas."

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