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Dear Governor Abbott,

Congratulations on your inauguration to your second term as Governor!

I know I don’t have to tell you that property taxes in the state of Texas are out of control. You know Texans face some of the highest property taxes in the nation—taxes so high they are forcing people out of their homes.

As governor you have routinely called for the Texas Legislature to deliver serious, lasting property tax relief to homeowners and businesses while also reforming the system to give those same taxpayers greater say over tax increases.

But those calls haven’t been heeded by the Texas Legislature. Last session lawmakers failed to deliver sufficient property tax reform or relief, so you called them back to Austin in a special session to tackle the rollback provision, school finance, limit state spending, and other issues.

In July of 2017, you said:

“Texans need property tax reform right now. I’m calling on the legislature to pass SB2, with the rate rollback provision, or pass a better law. A better law that will reform the spiraling property taxes in Texas. If we are going to come together and work this summer at taxpayers’ expense, then let us work on relieving Texas homeowners from out of control property taxes.”

Sadly, the legislature failed to follow your lead. Lawmakers didn’t give the people of Texas the real property tax relief they deserve.

Governor, you were right in July of 2017 that property taxes demanded immediate attention. That statement rings even more true now in January of 2019. Now more than ever, property tax relief must be addressed!

You know this. That’s why you’ve said that school finance reform and property tax reform “definitely will be top priorities,” and you and the legislature “will begin dismantling the flawed Robin Hood scheme that has failed our schools.”

You’ve said, “It’s time for government at all levels to stop imposing skyrocketing property taxes on Texans and end costly big-government regulations. It’s not a fight between the state & cities. It’s a battle for individual rights.”

And just yesterday in your inaugural address, you said “the promise that Texas offers is threatened by out of control property taxes.”

Governor, you cannot be more right about these issues and you have the authority to ensure lawmakers begin tackling these problems immediately.

Article 3, Section 5 of the Texas Constitution allows you to designate specific matters as emergencies and allow lawmakers to begin holding hearings and even passing legislation to address them in these early months of the legislative session.

I’m asking you to identify your reform of lowering the rollback rate to 2.5 percent and letting Texans vote on excessive tax hikes, dismantling Robin Hood, and limiting state spending to provide immediate property tax relief as emergency items to ensure legislators know they must deliver on them this session.

As you correctly said yesterday, “some people say we can’t afford property tax reform. I say we can’t afford not to reform a system that punishes homeowners, crushes businesses, and cripples our schools.”

Thank you for your commitment to conservative policy outcomes and your service to our state.

Respectfully,

Cary Cheshire

Texans for Fiscal Responsibility

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