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Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan Vows Homeowners & Businesses Will See Lasting Property Tax Relief

AUSTIN — Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan vowed Friday that homeowners and business owners will see lasting relief on their property tax bills without hurting schools.

He told CBS News Texas, “I do think it’s sustainable. That is the commitment of the State of Texas. Our commitment is that going forward at 2027, 2029, and hopefully each session after that.”

Phelan’s interview came one day after lawmakers in the House and Senate passed three bills that lawmakers say is worth $18 billion in property tax relief.

Home and business owners have waited months for this moment.

The legislation reduces the school property tax rate and replaces that funding with state sales taxes and other revenues. 

The homestead exemption will increase to $100,000 for most homeowners, and to $110,000 for homeowners over 65 and/or disabled.

For a home valued at $330,000—the average in Texas—lawmakers say that’s worth about $2,600 in savings during the first two years for most homeowners, and about $3,000 in savings during the first two years for homeowners over 65 and/or disabled.

The bills end the month-long standoff at the Capitol between the speaker, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, and Governor Greg Abbott.

When asked why he, Patrick, and Abbott weren’t on the same page from the start, Phelan said, ‘It’s a great question. With record surplus comes record expectations, and every member has their own idea that they want to bring forward. “It ended up being the best package that we’ve had going back to January. So, it was worth the wait.”

The bills don’t provide direct relief to renters, who account for about 38 percent of households in Texas.

Some House Democrats pushed for this idea, but it failed.

But the speaker told CBS News Texas that he believes that because of the tax relief, developers will build more apartment complexes and that will increase competition. “When you have an apartment on one side of the street that passes on $50, $100, $200-a-month savings or signing bonus savings, or two months of free rent because of this property tax relief, you’re going to see other apartment complexes in the neighborhood doing the exact same thing.”

However, Democrats argued there’s no evidence of that. They also pushed for teachers to receive raises.

But that didn’t happen because the governor didn’t include it in the special session agenda.

Phelan said it will likely happen thought when Abbott calls a third special session this fall. “If you want to attract new teachers to the profession, and you want to keep teachers in the profession…I think they need more predictability in a long-term solution when it comes to pay increases. The House is committed to increasing the pay for teachers. I firmly believe we have the votes for that.”

Source : CBS News