On April 11, the Texas House was scheduled to hear omnibus property tax reform legislation. Bill author State Rep. Dustin Burrows (R–Lubbock) delayed the legislation over the weekend to Monday, April 15.
On Monday, April 15, while the Texas Senate passed similar legislation, Burrows punted yet again to the following Wednesday, April 24.
Now Wednesday April 24 has come and gone with lawmakers still failing to pass the legislation. Texas taxpayers hoping their state lawmakers would give them greater control to rein in their skyrocketing property taxes will have to wait even longer as Burrows and the Texas House yet again moved to delay the bill, this time to Tuesday, April 30.
According to Burrows, a committee substitute to the Senate companion to House Bill 2—Senate Bill 2—will be drafted and passed out of committee in the coming days.
With only 33 days left in the legislative session, however, lawmakers will soon be up against the clock to deliver.
As originally filed, HB 2 would have given taxpayers increased control over their tax burden by requiring local taxing entities to hold elections when they want to spend over a 2.5 percent increase. As filed, the bill applied to cities, counties, school districts, and special taxing entities such as hospital districts and community college districts.
When the bill was brought up for a vote in the House Ways and Means Committee last month, however, Burrows gutted the measure in the dead of night by removing school districts, who make up the bulk of the average Texans’ property tax burden, as well as all other taxing entities, save cities and counties, from the voter approval requirement.
Many of the 180 prefiled amendments to the bill seek to restore the meaningful portions of the originally filed legislation.
Taxpayers seeking relief should continue to demand that their legislators restore the bill to its original, more impactful form.