In what one pro-taxpayer group called a “bombshell,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said last week that he supports eliminating property taxes.
“My goal is to eliminate the school property tax that’s imposed in the state of Texas, so that people can genuinely own their own home without being taxed out of it,” Abbott, a Republican, said during Friday’s gubernatorial debate with Democrat challenger Beto O’Rourke.
“WE ARE WINNING!” said Tim Hardin, president of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, following the debate.
TFR advocates for eliminating property taxes as part of their Texas Prosperity Plan.
“This is a huge deal, as this is what TFR and our subscribers have been shouting for over a year!” Hardin said. “It means our message of REAL property tax relief has made it to the top office in Texas.”
Abbott also repeated his commitment to use half the state’s $27 billion budget surplus “if not more” to drive down local school taxes—the largest portion of Texans’ property tax bills.
Hardin and others expressed some skepticism but still took a positive view of Abbott’s statement.
Political analyst Luke Macias said it’s “easy for people to say things on the campaign trail,” but conservatives should never be disappointed when politicians “are willing to come out and say something in line with your values.”
“We know this is just campaign rhetoric, but this is still significant,” Hardin said. “A year ago, Abbott would not have even thought about saying something so controversial.”
“TFR is under no illusions that politicians keep their campaign promises,” he added. “TFR suggests that taxpayers who want him to eliminate property taxes call his office and demand this is added to his legislative priorities next session.”
Early voting starts October 24 in the November 8 election.
Lawmakers begin filing bills on November 14 for the next Texas Legislative session, which begins January 10, 2023.