Texas Senate passes Senate Bill 1, Property Tax Reform

by | Jul 26, 2017 | Latest

From staff reports

 

Senate Bill 1 is a strong property tax reform and relief measure by any reckoning

 

AUSTIN – Working after midnight, the Texas Senate voted 19-12 to pass Senate Bill 1, by Senator Bettencourt (R-Houston) to bring property tax reform and relief to hard pressed Texas home and business owners. The legislation is a top priority of Governor Abbott in the special legislative session and has been a long time priority of Lt. Governor  Patrick.  Senator Bettencourt commented, “A 4% rollback with automatic elections for all taxing jurisdictions, and an opt in for smaller jurisdictions, is a powerful tax reform package that will have long term savings for taxpayers.” The legislation now heads to the Texas House of Representatives.

“SB 1 solves the real problem that when appraised values go up, tax rates rarely come down,” continued Senator Bettencourt. “City, county, and special district local property tax revenues have been growing twice as fast as school district revenues over the last 10 years.  That is an astonishing amount of money flowing from Texans’ checkbooks into government’s pocketbook.”


Data shows the growth of property tax levies over the last ten years with city, county, and special district levies increasing 71%, 82%, and 93%, while school district property tax levies have increased 39%. Major metropolitan areas throughout Texas have seen explosive growth in property tax bills over just the last three years. For example, Harris County has seen a 36% property tax bill increase for the average home, while Dallas County, Bexar County, and Tarrant County, have seen the average home’s property tax bill increase 25%, 24%, and 19% respectively.  Testimony given before the Senate Select Committee on Government Reform stated that San Antonio, for example, would have triggered a rollback election in six of the last ten years at a 4% rollback rate.  This would have saved San Antonio taxpayers roughly $58 million if they chose not to approve the increases.  This is what Senate Bill 1 is designed to do, give taxpayers a vote and save them their own money!

“It is time to let people have a vote, and trust their vote, on their rising property taxes,” continued Senator Bettencourt.  “What we really are talking about is for government to set priorities in spending, just like every Texas family and every Texas business has to do, because it is increased government spending that drives up tax bills.”

Senate Bill 1 will lower the current rollback rate from 8% to 4%, and includes many of appraisal reforms, adds transparency, and eliminates confusion surrounding multiple property protest deadlines. Most importantly, SB 1 creates an automatic election provision in November if a taxing entity exceeds the rollback rate, and also establishes a statewide office in the Comptroller’s office for oversight and complaint resolution.  Taxing entities with total tax revenue under $20 million keep the old rollback rate under an amendment added by Senator Perry (R-Lubbock), however an amendment from Senator Buckingham (R-Lakeway) allows voters in exempt taxing entities to opt into the legislation through an election.  Additionally, Senator Birdwell (R-Granbury) offered an amendment that eliminated all petition requirements for citizens to force a rollback election across the state. Senator Nelson (R- Flower Mound) added appraisal reforms from a companion tax relief bill, SB 21, to SB 1.

Senate Bill 1 now heads to the Texas House as the strongest property tax reform measure in recent history.  Previous provisions in SB 1, despite being passed in the Texas Senate, did not get a vote in the Texas House last session.

“Texans expect their elected legislators to show up and vote on the important issues that they face every day,” concluded Senator Bettencourt.  “It is now up to the Texas House to pass this top priority of Governor Abbott.”

For more stories like this subscribe to our print or e-edition.

0 Comments

Related News

Panthers race in Lewisville

Panthers race in Lewisville

The Princeton cross country team returned to action for their fourth meet of the year last Thursday at Lake Park in Lewisville. Senior Aubrey Leverton earned her second straight win of the season with a personal best of 19:46 in the girls varsity 5K.  Leverton,...

read more
Lady Panthers lose to McKinney North

Lady Panthers lose to McKinney North

The Lady Panthers started off district play last Friday. Princeton (18-12) played well in its preseason schedule. Matched up against some of the best 5A opponents, the Lady Panthers held their own. Princeton would need this momentum heading into one of the toughest...

read more
Class of 96 celebrates 25 years

Class of 96 celebrates 25 years

Princeton Independent School District will celebrate the Class of 1995 during homecoming festivities to commemorate the 25th anniversary of graduation. Every year, PISD recognizes the class that graduated 25 years before. The Class of 1996 will be honored at the...

read more
Collin County announces recovery plan

Collin County announces recovery plan

Collin County officials recently published the Collin County Recovery Plan, a 22- page document detailing the projects the county intends to fund using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Along with ARPA funds, the plan includes State and Local Fiscal Recovery...

read more
Local creative artists win big at State Fair of Texas

Local creative artists win big at State Fair of Texas

The State Fair of Texas Creative Arts contest dates back to 1886 and has showcased works from artists in multiple categories across the state. Among the winners in this year’s creative arts contest is Princeton resident Cynthia Hanson. Hanson, a retired surgical...

read more
CDC discuss recreation center

CDC discuss recreation center

Plans are moving forward for the recreation center in Princeton after Kimley-Horn presented an update on the center’s progress. Brittany Shake with Kimley- Horn presented the update to the Community Development Corporation during the Sept. 8 meeting. Shake said an...

read more
Budget and tax rate adopted

Budget and tax rate adopted

Princeton City Council held several public hearings and accepted the budget and tax rate during the Sept. 13 council meeting. The first public hearing concerned the tax rate and the second concerned the 2021-22 budget. Although no one spoke about the tax rate, mayoral...

read more
Panther lose district opener to Lovejoy

Panther lose district opener to Lovejoy

Points came early and often for Lovejoy (3-0, 1-0) as that state ranked squad built up a big 49-7 halftime lead, then went on to beat down Princeton (2-1, 0-1) 69-21. Princeton received the opening kickoff and moved the ball downfield for 2 first downs before being...

read more
Remembering 9/11

Remembering 9/11

September 11, 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al Queda hijacked four airliners and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two...

read more