An agreement on property tax relief has finally passed the Texas House, marking the end of the Legislature’s second special session and an end to a standoff between the House and Senate that has lasted since the beginning of the year.
Senate Bill 2, which was previously passed unanimously by the Senate on Wednesday, 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.
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 earlier this week. An amendment proposed by State Rep. Brian Harrison (R–Midlothian) to do that was struck down due to it not being on the special session call.
House Joint Resolution 2 would put the property tax relief measures on the November ballot.
Senate Bill 3, meanwhile, would increase the exemption for the business franchise tax from $1 million to $2.47 million.
With the House passing the measures nearly unanimously, the chambers adjourned Sine Die on Thursday evening, officially ending the second special session. Abbott has indicated he will sign the measures and will call lawmakers back in the fall for more issues, including school choice.