Last week, the Texas House finally passed a piece of property tax relief taxeslegislation, voting in favor of HB216 by Rep. John Otto (R-Dayton) by a margin of 87-53.  This bill allows appraisal districts a margin of error of 10 percent, instead of the current 5 percent, in appraising properties.  While the Texas Constitution prohibits a statewide appraisal, the Comptroller's Property Value Study (PVS) is used to reduce school equalization funds to districts taht are below 5 percent in the sample of properties evaluated by the PVS.

The problem is that, because the margin of error in appraising properties, all of which are unique, is more than 5 percent, this policy results in some properties being appraised at more than market value.  Many local appraisers blame the PVS for driving up appraisals.  HB216 is estimated by the Legislative Budget Board to reduce Texans' property tax burden by over $2 billion between now and 2012. 

It is time for the Senate to take action on this somewhat technical legislation, but one that will allow Texans to keep more of what they earn and reduce the number of Texas driven from their homes by a rising tide of property taxes.

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