Property tax legislation that has been the center of conflict between the state’s three top officials has been officially signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott.
Senate Bill 2 increases the homestead exemption to $100,000 and uses around $7 billion to additionally buy down—or “compress”—local school property taxes. Additionally, the compromise plan includes what they have called a “20% circuit breaker” appraisal cap on non-homesteaded properties under $5 million in value for a three-year pilot program.
With previous property tax relief included, this would make the package around $18 billion. Around $12 billion of that amount is new relief.
House Joint Resolution 2 puts the property tax relief measures on the November ballot.
Senate Bill 3, meanwhile, will increase the exemption for the business franchise tax from $1 million to $2.47 million.
While Gov. Greg Abbott had previously asked lawmakers to pass legislation to put the state on a path toward eliminating school property taxes altogether, he removed that request from his special session call after the compromise was reached by both chambers.
Tim Hardin, the president of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, says that decision comes at the expense of taxpayers.
“The Legislature decided to compromise on a plan that offered far less than what was proposed in the regular session, offered no path to elimination, and passed the failed homestead exemption increase that will once again be inflated away within years,” said Hardin.
Texas GOP Chairman Matt Rinaldi, meanwhile, has said he is “happy to see that homeowners were prioritized in the final property tax relief package thanks to the efforts of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the Senate.”
All three measure were signed by Abbott over the weekend, though online records were only updated this week.
While Abbott has traditionally held signing ceremonies for high-profile pieces of legislation, he has been relatively quiet this session, with none of his few signing events including Phelan and Patrick together.
Another special session of the Legislature is expected in October to pass school choice legislation.