Horrigan Realty

Is Texas property tax reform possible?

05/30/2019 10:44 AM By Tom Horrigan

The Texas Legislature delivers to Governor

The Texas Legislature has delivered (2) bills to Governor Abbott for signing, that affect Texas property taxes. Each bill is unique in how it affects the overall tax burden assigned to Texas property owners. 

The first bill (Senate Bill 2), will require local municipalities to seek a public vote if property values rise above 3.5% year over year. The current threshold is 8%. This will help both the single family homeowner and the commercial property owner. This is more of a win for the commercial property owner, as there was not much in place to keep the government in check on commercial property.

The second bill (House Bill 3), actually is more of a school finance reform bill. The bill imposes a 7 cent reduction in the property tax rate for schools in the year 2020, and then a roll back rate of 2.5% year over year starting in 2021. This bill also has some spending pieces to it, that includes an increase in base funding per student. School taxes tend to make up the majority of a property tax burden on the taxpayers. 

Time will tell if these bills actually deliver true reform, but in the surface they appear to be a great start! It is expected that Governor Abbott will sign both bills as he has spoken publicly in favor of them.