On Monday, the Texas Legislature began its bill prefiling period, and newly elected Republican State Rep. Ellen Troxclair wasted no time in filing her first bills as an incoming representative. Troxclair’s House Bill 629 works to provide property tax relief to Texans.

Property taxes in Texas are among the highest in the nation, with the majority going to school district M&O (Maintenance and Operations). Every year, Texas homeowners pay thousands of dollars in property taxes.

This fall, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar revealed that there was a state surplus of $27 billion. During the gubernatorial debate this October, Gov. Abbott explained that he plans to use that excess revenue to “eliminate school property taxes” so Texans can “genuinely own their own home without being taxed out of it.”

In support of Abbott’s plan, Troxclair developed a bill that would put 90 percent of the $27 billion surplus towards “buying down” the school portion of property taxes.

Troxclair said in a statement that her bill, HB 629, “would allow us to cut property taxes in half, while fully funding public schools and reducing our reliance on Robin Hood.”

Immediately following Troxclair’s filing of HB 629, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility (TFR) Executive Director Jeramy Kitchen tweeted his support for the measure.


TFR President Tim Hardin explained that the legislation “uses surplus to compress school M&O until it reaches zero. This is an elimination bill.” HB 629 would effectively get rid of the majority of Texans’ property taxes since more than half of property tax bills go toward school M&O taxes.

Similar bills that would use the state’s excess revenue to pay down school M&O and reduce property taxes were filed by two other Texas state representatives earlier this week.

House Bill 174, filed by Rep. Tom Oliverson (R–Cypress), would also use 90 percent of the state’s surplus to pay down school M&O.

House Bill 612, filed by Rep. Matt Shaheen (R–Plano) would use the surplus to pay down school M&O and also put Texas on a path to property tax elimination.

Hardin designated Shaheen’s and Troxclair’s bills as the “strongest two bills filed” since the start of pre-filing. Hardin added, “[TFR is] hopeful that they get traction in the upcoming session,” as the organization continues to advocate for the elimination of property taxes.

The 88th Legislative Session will begin on January 10, 2023.

Concerned citizens may contact their representatives to ask how they will vote on the issue.

Soli Rice

A journalist for Texas Scorecard, Soli is a new Texan with a passion for politics. She's excited to hone her writing skills and help spread truth to Texans.