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Texas Senate Republicans Pass Property Tax Relief

March 21, 2017

AUSTIN – Senate Bill 2, authored by Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), passed the Texas Senate by a vote of 18-12 today. The bill reduces the rollback tax rate from the current 8% to 5% and requires automatic tax ratification elections if the rollback rate is exceeded, thus placing the power back into the hands of the voter. The bill also requires all appraisal districts to use the appraisal manuals issued by the Texas Comptroller, resulting in more transparent, accountable and consistent appraisals statewide.

“Texas taxpayers know the truth: property taxes are too high,” said Senate Republican Caucus Chair Sen. Paul Bettencourt. “After listening to 50 hours of testimony last year, and hundreds of Texans during last week’s hearing, we have crafted legislation that returns power and control to voters, creates transparency, and reduces the risk of big rate increases.”

“Texas has the 5th highest property tax rate in the country. We must provide property tax relief for homeowners who cannot keep up with their increasing property tax bills, small businesses seeing their hard earned profits disappear, and large businesses moving jobs out of Texas,” Bettencourt added.

From 2010 to 2015, property tax bills grew 2⅓ times faster than that of household income. Calculated by the Texas Taxpayer and Research Association, the rise in property tax bills is estimated at 33.7 percent over five years on the average home.

“Our homes are special places where we make a lifetime of memories – not just another asset for the government to tax. On no other issue have I seen such a divide between the will of the people and government interests, exposing a system where government grows on autopilot without a mechanism for the people to check its power. Such a system, which seeks to silence the people, belittles the principles of our Republic and cries out for reform,” stated co-author and Senate Republican Caucus Treasurer Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano).

“Property taxes are astronomical and taxpayers desperately need relief,” said Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe), co-author and Senate Republican Caucus Vice Chair. “This problem of rising property taxes is an issue we take very seriously. After listening to Texans from across the state, I am pleased we could help deliver an answer.”

Senate Bill 2, one of Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s priority items, will now go the Texas House of Representatives.

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