The ongoing special session in Texas, called by Gov. Greg Abbott, has reached a stalemate regarding property taxes, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick shows no signs of backing down.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Stands Firm in Property Tax Fight
At a recent news conference marking the one-week point of the special session, Patrick expressed his unwavering commitment to the negotiation.
“That’s a negotiation that we are not backing down from ever,” Patrick stated firmly.
Abbott reiterated his support for his competing plan during a separate event, aligning with Speaker of the House Dade Phelan who also endorsed the plan, a published news article reported. The House quickly passed the plan and adjourned from the special session the day after it was called.
Abbott’s proposal involves allocating $17.6 billion to reduce school district property tax rates by employing a strategy known as compression. Compression aims to lower tax rates while providing school districts with increased funding.
Property Tax Fight
Patrick voiced concerns about the elimination of all property taxes, emphasizing that it would severely impact funding for crucial sectors such as education, healthcare, and law enforcement.
Citing data from the Legislative Budget Board, Patrick revealed that without school district property taxes, the state would need to compensate for over $73 billion per year through alternative revenue sources.
Currently, the state relies heavily on revenue from sales tax, oil production taxes, motor vehicle sales, insurance taxes, and other streams.
Furthermore, Patrick proposed a plan in the Senate that prioritizes homeowners by offering tax compression and raising the homestead exemption to $100,000. The homestead exemption refers to the deduction homeowners can make from their property’s taxable value.
Abbott, undeterred by the impasse, pledged to call for additional special sessions until a resolution is reached, demonstrating his commitment to finding a solution.
The timing of the next special session remains uncertain, depending on the actions and decisions made by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who holds the gavel in the Senate.