Texas homeowners and businesses are one step closer to seeing the property tax relief promised by Republican leaders for months.
On Thursday evening, both the House and Senate passed three bills worth $18 billion in property tax cuts.
The money will come from the nearly $33 billion surplus in the state budget.
Here’s what the legislation does
It reduces the school property tax rate for all homeowners and businesses.
The homestead exemption will increase to $100,000 for most homeowners, and to $110,000 for homeowners over 65 and for those who are disabled.
For a home valued at $330,000—the average in Texas—lawmakers said that’s worth about $2,600 in savings during the first two years for most homeowners, and about $3,000 during the first two years for homeowners over 65 and/or disabled.
The legislation also limits increases on appraised values for commercial and non-homestead residential properties.
The measure provides savings to small businesses by increasing the exemption on the franchise tax to nearly $2.5 million.
Lawmakers said it means 67,000 small businesses in Texas won’t have to pay the franchise tax at all.
The bills now head to Governor Greg Abbott to sign.
In a statement released Thursday evening, Gov. Abbott said, “The Texas House and Senate fulfilled our promise with an agreement that delivers a comprehensive, long-lasting solution to increasingly burdensome property tax bills.”
House Speaker Dade Phelan issued a statement saying, “The passage of this $18 billion package is a testament to the unwavering commitment of Texas leaders to address the concerns of taxpayers and provide significant relief from the burden of escalating property taxes.”
Voters will have to approve the changes to the Texas Constitution on election day in November.
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said in a statement, “Texans should take note of the Nov. 7, 2023, constitutional amendment election date so they can vote in favor of this historic tax relief and several other key measures for the future of our state.”
The property tax relief will be retroactive to this year.
The bills do not give a rebate to renters or provide teachers with a raise as some House Democrats proposed last week. The Senate previously approved temporary bonuses for teachers, but that didn’t make it into the final bills.
In a joint statement by Democratic representatives Trey Martinez Fischer, Victoria Neave Criado and Ron Reynolds, they said House Democrats “will vote for tax cuts for working families every day of the week. That said, Texas Democrats fought hard for the millions of Texans who rent, who are teachers, or who send their children to public schools, but they were entirely neglected in the process by Republican leadership.”
Republican leaders have said school funding, teacher raises, and school choice will be topics of a third special session this fall.
Source : CBS News