As the third special legislative session of the year draws to a close with no property tax relief in sight for Texans, an Austin-based free-market think tank says Texans want—and deserve—immediate relief.

“Texans will never experience the peace of mind that comes with owning their homes until property taxes are eliminated,” said Texas Public Policy Foundation’s CEO Kevin Roberts in a statement today aimed at state lawmakers. “Today, they are counting on the Texas Legislature to at least provide immediate tax relief and permanent changes to the Texas property tax system.”

TPPF cites polling from July showing more than 75 percent of Texans think property taxes are a serious burden on them and their families, and they wanted the Legislature to address it during the special session.

Lawmakers filed several bills during this special session aimed at lowering all Texans’ property tax bills using surplus state funds, including Senate Bill 1 by State Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R–Houston) and House Bill 90 by State Rep. Tom Oliverson (R–Cypress).

But House members turned Bettencourt’s bill into a one-time rebate check for homeowners, funded by $3 billion in federal COVID relief money.

That version of SB 1 remains stalled in a conference committee.

The full House never considered HB 90 at all.

“Unfortunately, the plan presently under consideration in the Texas House does not lower property taxes immediately or provide for long term reductions,” Roberts said:

Proposed checks that would provide some relief will likely be taxable under IRS regulations and will end up hurting many Texans come tax time. Even more concerning, there are no permanent changes to the system that would compress rates over time.

 

TPPF encourages the House and Senate to ensure property tax bills are lower now by prioritizing compression of school district property tax rates in conference of SB 1 and continue to give taxpayers the relief they deserve.

The third special legislative session concludes on Tuesday, October 19.