The Texas Senate has recently passed Senate Bill 1 and Senate Joint Resolution 1, two Texas property tax relief measures that had been previously approved in the regular session and the first special legislative session eight days ago, The Center Square reported.
Texas Property Tax Relief, Senate Passes Measures
On the other hand, these measures conflict with the call for property tax reform outlined by Governor Greg Abbott when he announced the second special legislative session.
Both bills were introduced by Senator Paul Bettencourt, a Republican from Houston, who has been a staunch advocate for property tax relief. He emphasized the importance of providing relief to homeowners through an increased homestead exemption, stating that homeowners need property tax relief urgently.
The proposed legislation aims to deliver the largest property tax cut in the state’s history by combining the power of the homestead exemption and compression for homeowners. It also promises meaningful relief for businesses.
Senate Joint Resolution 1 includes provisions to provide supplemental pay for the state’s teachers over the next two years. Senator Bettencourt expressed the Senate’s commitment to fighting for homeowners, teachers, and businesses, and looks forward to collaborating with the House to pass property tax relief measures and supplemental payments for teachers in the coming weeks.
Governor Abbott’s call for the special session focuses on eliminating one of the property taxes homeowners pay in Texas, particularly targeting school district maintenance and operations property taxes. It urges the legislature to pass legislation to reduce property tax rates, specifically by reducing the maximum compressed tax rate for school districts, to provide lasting property tax relief.
While the Senate has taken a strong stance in favor of including a homestead exemption as part of tax relief, Lt. Gov. Patrick acknowledged that the House may not be receptive to these measures, potentially setting the second special session up for failure.
Senate Bill 1 proposes increasing the homestead exemption to $100,000, implementing property tax compression, reducing the rollback rate for school districts, and providing relief for small businesses paying franchise taxes, among other measures.
Texas Property Tax Relief
It is estimated to result in an average 43% decrease in homeowner school property taxes. Senate Joint Resolution 1 seeks to expand the homestead exemption and includes a supplemental payment for public school teachers, with an additional amount for teachers in rural areas.
However, the fate of these measures in the House remains uncertain, as the House previously rejected the Senate’s property tax proposals in the first special legislative session and passed its bill, which was not considered by the Senate.
The second special session will last for 30 days, and Governor Abbott has indicated that he will not call for additional special sessions until the legislature addresses approximately $18 billion in property tax reform.