Former State Sen. Don Huffines of the Huffines Liberty Foundation recently accused Gov. Greg Abbott of misleading Texans regarding property tax cuts.

When the Texas Legislature finally passed a property tax relief package this summer, Abbott claimed it was the “largest property tax cut in Texas history—$18 billion.”

However, some analysts have pointed out that the actual number is significantly lower.

The Legislative Budget Board fiscal note shows that only $12.7 billion in new relief is going toward property tax cuts.

“The other $5.3 billion is old tax relief from 2019 and 2021 being duplicitously double-counted by Texas politicians so they can clear the $14 billion hurdle used for property tax relief in 2006 and thus falsely claim the ‘largest tax cut in history’ moniker,” said Huffines in an op-ed. “It provides zero dollars of additional tax relief this year.”

Additionally, Huffines noted, “[T]he $12.7 billion the Legislature dedicated to tax relief is over a two-year period, while Texans pay their property taxes every year. Last year, the total tab was $81.9 billion, which means the actual amount going toward property tax relief in 2023 is $6.1 billion—a far cry from the $18 billion being touted.”

The state distributes the property tax relief funds to the school districts, cities, counties, and special purpose districts in charge of levying property taxes and instructs them to lower their tax rates. However, local governments can still raise property taxes.

Huffines estimated that “the tax cut will be much closer to $2 billion than the advertised $18 billion, much less the $32 billion surplus that the Legislature could have used.”

Notably, Huffines also highlighted that the Texas Legislature did nothing to stop future property tax growth.

“[B]y 2024, property taxes will be on the rise again, as high as $86 billion, up $2.5 billion from this year,” he wrote.

Sydnie Henry

A born and bred Texan, Sydnie serves as the Managing Editor for Texas Scorecard. She graduated from Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in Government and is utilizing her research and writing skills to spread truth to Texans.