When the Texas Legislature ended its regular session Monday without a deal on property taxes, it was unsurprising to witness Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick openly clashing with each other over how pleasingly to provide Texans with lasting property tax relief.
Property Tax Relief In Texas
The Senate’s presiding officer, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, has long criticized House leadership for being overly moderate and sluggish in action on his chamber’s priorities.
Speaker Dade Phelan headed the House for a week and the Senate, led by Patrick, passed different bills aimed at lowering property tax bills during the first day of a special session called by the Governor.
At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Patrick said he wanted to clear things up, he mentioned that he was fighting for the 5.7 million average homeowners who under the Governor’s and House plan get less than under the Senate plan.
However, Gov. Greg Abbott called a special session to discuss reducing property taxes that are used to fund public schools. Instead, he asked lawmakers to concentrate only on one method of relief. The House quickly obliged, but the Senate defied Abbott by passing a larger bill.
They plan to continue doing that until the school district’s maintenance and operations or M&O portion of your property tax bill is reduced to zero over ten years. And when Abbott issued a statement siding with the House, Patrick erupted, according to Texastribune news.
CBSTexas reported that the bill passed by the Senate and backed by the Lt. Governor also includes a provision to reduce the amount of property taxes used to settle for public schools and to utilize more state revenues, but the Lt. Governor said it’s idealistic to stop school property taxes, especially if there’s an economic downturn and sales tax revenues decline.
The Senate plan also boosts the homestead exemption for most homeowners from $40,000 to $100,000 and from $70,000 to $110,000 for homeowners over 65 years old. Patrick said their plan would give homeowners an extra $700 each year, nearly double homeowners’ savings at least starting.
Patrick Said That Abbot Is Misinformed
“The residents say, Dan, can’t you negotiate?'” Patrick said. “You want 100 percent, we’ll give you 70 percent, give the homeowners 30 percent. That’s a negotiation that we are not supporting down from, ever in the Senate.”
However, Governor Abbott said the state has already tested this strategy before and the people have felt the benefit of that for one simple reason the inflation of the values of homes, which erodes the values of the homestead exemption. The cutting of the property tax rate would benefit even greater for taxpayers, Abbot said.
Abbott said more than two dozen business and tax groups support his plan. Lawmakers have already approved providing property owners relief worth $17.6 billion and it is, more than half of the state’s funding surplus. Furthermore, until the House and Senate pass the same bill, homeowners and business owners are not going to glimpse any descending property tax bills.