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Revenue Cap Legislation Set for a Hearing on Monday, March 25

Ender Reed
Senior Policy Advisor

The Senate Finance Subcommittee on Fiscal Matters, chaired by Senator Glenn Hegar (R-Katy), will be hearing testimony on two restrictive revenue cap bills -- SB 102 and SB 144 -- at 9 a.m. Monday, March 25, in Room E1.036 of the Capitol Extension. These bills diminish local control by setting strict standards that take the decision-making process out of the hands of locally-elected commissioners courts regarding tax rates. 

SB 102 by Senator Patrick (R-Houston) seeks to lower the revenue cap (rollback rate) from the current 8 percent level to a 5 percent level. Under SB 102, any tax rate that the governing body seeks to adopt that would exceed the 5 percent rollback rate would trigger an expensive automatic rollback election. Current law requires a petition process to call for an election to rollback a tax rate that exceeds the revenue cap.

SB 144 by Senator Williams (R-The Woodlands) seeks to reduce the current 8 percent rollback rate on counties to 5 percent, except under a very limited set of circumstances in which the local governing body would have to go through a series of procedures to raise the rollback rate to 8 percent. The limited circumstances that would allow a higher than 5 percent rollback rate include instances when the county is located in an area declared a disaster by the governor or president, or if the commissioners court finds the higher rate necessary for the protection of public safety.

For more information, review this legislative brief, which explains the impact of revenue caps on local control, and this accompanying document, which details the top 10 reasons why revenue caps are a bad idea.

If you are concerned about these revenue cap bills, please consider coming to Austin on Monday to testify or sign in opposing the legislation. If you are not in Austin, you may contact the members of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Fiscal Matters. Contact information is listed below:

Senate Committee on Finance-S/C on Fiscal Matters

Member

Phone

E-Mail

Sen. Glenn Hegar (Chair)

(512) 463-0118

Sen. Joan Huffman

(512) 463-0117

Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr.

(512) 463-0127

Sen. Jane Nelson

(512) 463-0112

Sen. John Whitmire

(512) 463-0115