During this week’s primary election, over 75 percent of Republican voters in Texas voted in support of a ballot proposition focused on eliminating property taxes.
The issue was included as one of 10 propositions where Republican voters could select “Yes” if they agreed with the issue or “No” if they disagreed. The results of this vote will be used to help guide lawmakers on what policy they should prioritize in the next legislative session.
The official language included on the ballot asked voters if they believed that, “Texas should eliminate all property taxes within ten (10) years without implementing a state income tax.”
According to the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the state’s property taxes have risen by 181% over the past two decades. This increase has put great financial strain on Texans and led to more calls for a complete elimination of property taxes across the state.
Although eliminating property taxes is already a part of the official Republican Party Platform, state lawmakers have yet to make meaningful progress on the issue. Of the multiple bills proposed in the last legislative session that would have started the process of shrinking property taxes, none were prioritized by top Republican lawmakers.
Instead, Gov. Greg Abbott declared a special election day on May 7, 2022 where citizens will have the chance to vote on two propositions aimed at alleviating the strain caused by property taxes. Proposition 1 would increase property tax exemptions for the elderly and disabled, while Proposition 2 would raise the homestead exemption from $25,000 to $40,000.
Those opposed to these amendments believe that the propositions do not go far enough, and that state lawmakers should focus on completely eliminating property taxes instead of minimizing damage caused by the practice.
With the 2023 session of the legislature fast approaching, Tim Hardin, President of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, expressed his belief that the issue will continue to go untouched and placed some of the blame with voters.
“If the past few legislative sessions are any indication, it is likely Texas GOP Republicans will ignore this and other ballot propositions in favor of the status quo,” said Hardin. “This is largely because voters continue to reelect bad actors that continue to break their promises to taxpayers. Whether lawmakers act on this ballot proposition and the Republican Party of Texas priorities that will be passed in June will be up to taxpayers across Texas.”
Hardin again called on conservative Texans to take action and pressure their representatives to create legislation that will completely eliminate property taxes.
“The one thing that makes lawmakers act is the fear of losing their office, and only voters can put that fear in them,” said Hardin. “It is, therefore, completely up to grassroots Republicans holding lawmakers accountable that will determine whether or not Texas Republican lawmakers listen to what this election has shown, that taxpayers want property taxes to be eliminated.”