In a continuing standoff over property taxes in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott hinted on Friday that one special session may not be enough to reach a resolution on the allocation of $12.3 billion in property tax breaks approved by the Legislature, Texas Tribune reported.
Abbott Foresees Extended Battle Over Property Taxes
Governor Greg Abbott confirmed that a future special session will be called to address “school choice,” although he did not provide a specific timeline, stating it would occur “after we get property tax reform fixed.”
Speaking at a Texas Public Policy Foundation event in Austin, Abbott reiterated his support for a plan approved by the House this week, which would lower tax rates for school districts.
He emphasized that this measure would result in a 29% reduction in property tax rates for school maintenance and operation. Notably absent from his remarks was any reference to Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, who has been critical of the House plan and argued that the Senate’s proposal would provide greater tax relief for homeowners.
According to an analysis by the Texas Tribune, homeowners would save $925 annually under the Senate plan and $486 per year under the House version.
Abbott, in his conversation with TPPF CEO Greg Sindelar, presented the House plan as a step towards the ultimate goal of eliminating property taxes entirely, a vision shared by the think tank and many conservatives.
The House Plan on Property Tax
Despite Abbott’s endorsement, the House plan has not made significant progress.
The House passed its bill on Tuesday leaving the Senate with the option to accept the bill as is or wait for another special session called by the governor.
Lt. Governor Patrick, holding considerable influence over the Senate, has declared that the chamber will not yield. He went further by stating that the goal of completely eliminating property taxes, supported by Abbott and TPPF, is unrealistic.
On Friday, the Senate assembled for a brief meeting, referring several border-related bills to committee before adjourning until Tuesday evening.
The standoff between the two chambers leaves the fate of property tax reform uncertain, with Abbott hinting at the possibility of multiple special sessions to reach a resolution.