Last session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick boldly called for property tax reform. Gov. Greg Abbott declared he would veto any budget that didn’t include tax cuts. But Joe Straus and his allies fought them.
In an interview with Texas public radio, Straus ally Rep. Lyle Larson attacked tax cuts, saying “The political gimmickry you’re gonna [sic] hear is, ‘Let me give it back.’”
Sure enough, Straus fought Patrick and Abbott on property tax cuts. First Straus refused to refer the Senate’s property tax cuts to the House for consideration for over a month. In the meantime, he pushed a plan to cut the state sales tax instead.
After the smoke cleared, Straus allies admitted the sales tax cut was never a serious proposal and was pushed only to create leverage in negotiations against Patrick and the Senate.
In the end, the Senate won and Straus reluctantly passed property tax cuts. But as a last blow, Straus and his negotiators forced the Senate to drop a provision that would have indexed the cuts to the median price of a home, ensuring the cuts will eventually be phased out by inflation.
Straus Facts is a project of Empower Texans, shining a light on the record of House Speaker Joe Straus.