Property Taxes

Lower revenue caps are a one-size-fits-all approach based on the faulty assumption that the need for services is steady from year to year. Local revenue needs often spike above or below proposed revenue limits. For more information on SB 2, TAC created a short document discussing those provisions which will have the greatest impact on counties.

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Primo jousts with Stoudt, commissioners over Gregg County tax rate, reserve funds

Longview News-Journal, August 5, 2019

Sparks flew Monday as Gregg County commissioners set two public hearings for the coming fiscal year's tax rate. Those will be Aug. 15 and 19 in the commissioners courtroom on the third floor of the courthouse...

Fannin County Commissioners Court accepts proposed budget

North Texas e-News, July 31, 2019

In a special meeting and workshop held Monday, July 29, 2019, Fannin County Commissioners Court accepted a proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year with the same tax rate as the past two years while also including a significant raise for most employees...

New tax law crimps county

OA Online, July 30, 2019

Passed by the Texas Legislature in Austin, signed by Gov. Abbott and scheduled to take effect next year, the Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act will apparently force the Ector County Commissioners Court to lower its 39.7-cent per $100 in...

City of Austin, Travis County prepare for property tax revenue cap

Community Impact, July 23, 2019

In June, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law a bill that will limit local governments from raising their property tax revenue more than 3.5% year-over-year—excluding new construction and debt obligations—without triggering an election...

This is how Texas lawmakers avoided true property tax reform and instead gave us fluff and stuff

Dallas News, July 5, 2019

Here it is, weeks after the Texas Legislature shut down for the next year and a half, and I can't get these numbers out of my mind. They aren't my lottery picks. These numbers belong to House bills that, if passed, would have gone a long way towards fixing...

Texas politicians said they fixed property taxes. Don’t believe it. [Opinion]

Houston Chronicle, July 5, 2019

Nobody likes paying higher property taxes, so for years state leaders have promised to provide property tax relief. Never mind that Texas doesn’t have a state property tax or that local officials are already answerable to local voters...

Travis County bracing for $30 million budget reduction by 2024 with revenue cap

Statesman, July 3, 2019

Travis County is anticipating significant belt-tightening in the next few years after forecasting a $30 million loss in revenue...

Tough choices loom for Texas cities under new tax caps

Houston Chronicle, June 24, 2019

Mayor Steve Adler says one last 8-percent increase in property tax revenue may be the best move for city leaders this summer, as they prepare for future penny-pinching required by a new state law restricting such tax collections...

Travis County plans for 'hard decisions' in FY 2020 budget process in light of revenue cap

Community Impact Newspaper, June 18, 2019

Travis County staff estimate its general fund resources for fiscal year 2020 will be $861.9 million, up nearly 8% from $798.2 million in fiscal year 2019, according to a June 18 memo to members of the Commissioners Court. The general fund estimate is comprised of...

Rep. Burrows joins Gov. Abbott at signing of the Texas Property Tax Reform & Transparency Act

Fox 34, June 12, 2019

Today, Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock) joined Governor Greg Abbott as the Governor signed the landmark Texas Property Tax Reform & Transparency Act. Representative Burrows authored HB2 in the Texas House, which was the companion bill to the...

Property Tax Reform to be Signed Wednesday

KLBJ News Radio, June 12, 2019

Governor Greg Abbott will host a bill signing ceremony alongside members of the Texas Legislature on Wednesday, June 12th in Austin. The Governor will sign Senate Bill 2 to reform property taxes in Texas...

How the Revenue Cap "Reform" Will Affect Austin and Travis County

The Austin Chronicle, June 7, 2019

Since the dawn of 2019, we here at your local Chronicle, along with the rest of the Texas press corps, have talked a lot about "revenue caps" as a highlight/lowlight of the Legislative session just past. Whether you see the Lege's handiwork in Senate Bill 2 as...

Texas This Week: Austin lawmakers discuss 86th legislative session

KVUE, June 2, 2019

Austin Sen. Kirk Watson and Representatives Donna Howard, Celia Israel, James Talarico and Sheryl Cole sat down with Ashley Goudeau to discuss the session...

'Great for taxpayers': Tax reform bill improves transparency, reduces revenue caps, June 1, 2019

The property tax reform bill that the Texas Legislature approved — and that is sitting on Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk — makes it easier for taxpayers to understand their appraisals and local governments' tax rates...

Analysis: Do as they say, not as they do

The Texas Tribune, May 29, 2019

The Texas Legislature did a lot in the 86th regular session, especially if you judge by their spending...

Texas lawmakers pass property tax reform bill

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 25, 2019

Gov. Greg Abbott has said for months that he wanted lawmakers to find a way to give Texas property owners — particularly those being taxed out of their homes — some relief. Late Saturday, state lawmakers signed off on a property tax reform plan they believe...

Texas cities' legislative efforts have struggled this year

Community Impact Newspaper, May 16, 2019

The interest group representing Texas cities used to be one of the most powerful legislative forces at the Capitol. This session, it has become the GOP’s most prominent adversary. Its members have been harangued at hearings. Targeted by a proposed ban on...

Hometown control, freedom under attack in Texas Legislature

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 15, 2019

It’s going to be real interesting to see how citizens across Texas react when they come to realize that the state has taken over control of their cities. At first it may seem OK since our legislators have mastered the practice of making us think they are saving us from...

Sen. Kirk Watson: The victim is the perpetrator

Del Rio News-Herald, Apr. 26, 2019

Sen. Kirk Watson was mayor of Austin for almost five years before he was elected to the Texas Senate in 2006. He understands the responsibilities of local governments, and the need for state and local governments to respect each other. Especially when...

House committee passes Senate property tax bill — after altering it to look more like the lower chamber's version

The Paris News, Apr. 26, 2019

Blasting the Texas Senate for taking a symbolic approach on school district taxes, a panel of House lawmakers heavily altered then approved the upper chamber’s version of priority property tax legislation late Thursday. And committee members pointedly included...

Texas Legislature may be headed soon to high-stakes showdown on property taxes, schools

Dallas News, Apr. 25, 2019

A showdown is coming over school finance and property tax overhauls, the Legislature's top priorities this year. In the next week and a half, the Senate likely will debate a proposed revamp of how Texas funds public schools, while the House is expected to...

Birdwell touts tax reform bill

Cleburne Times-Review, Apr. 24, 2019

State Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, said Senate Bill 2 will bring relief to increasing property tax bills. Local leaders, however, say passage of the bill would hamper city, county and ultimately Texas growth...

Northeast Texas leaders gather in opposition to GOP tax cap bill

Longview News-Journal, Apr. 24, 2019

County judges, mayors, business leaders and appointed officials gathered in Longview on Wednesday to build resistance to a priority tax bill in Austin they said abandons local control and embraces a California model that’s prompted industry there to abandon the Golden State...

Local officials concerned by SB 2 passage

Burnet Bulletin, Apr. 24, 2019

Local county and school officials were less than pleased this week with the passage of a Texas Senate bill that caps the amount property taxes can be increased without requiring voter approval...

Where do the Texas House and Senate stand on funding schools and teacher salaries? Here's the latest

Dallas News, Apr. 23, 2019

The Legislature's two money divas sang arias that couldn't differ more in tone Tuesday as the end of session opera known as budget negotiations formally began...

Urban, suburban, rural Texas mayors condemn state Legislature's overreach, support 'patchwork quilt' policy strategy

Community Impact Newspaper, Apr. 22, 2019

Overall, the Texas Municipal League, a nonpartisan group that advocates for Texas cities at the state Legislature, is fighting over 150 bills they said deteriorate municipalities' ability to govern themselves, but on April 22, Executive Director Bennett Sandlin laid out...

Property tax revenue caps will be a blow to San Antonio

My San Antonio, Apr. 21, 2019

State lawmakers continue to move forward with plans to strangle cities, urban counties and school districts. They call these plans property tax reform. Look, we get it. Texans are sick of sky-high property taxes, but lawmakers are prescribing the wrong medicine...

Officials circle the wagons on tax reform legislation

Kilgore News Herald, Apr. 19, 2019

The Texas Senate approved a reworked version of a controversial property tax reform bill earlier this week, but there’s still a long road its passage ahead and municipal leaders, county officials and others across the state are keeping a close eye on...

Burnet County, Marble Falls school officials concerned by SB 2 passage

The Highlander, Apr. 19, 2019

Local county and school officials were less than pleased this week with the passage of a Texas Senate bill that caps the amount property taxes can be increased without requiring voter approval...

Mayor Adler: 'We may be forced to cut public safety budgets'

KVUE ABC, Apr. 18, 2019

The City of Austin may be forced to cut emergency services like adding more police officers and firefighters if the state legislature has its way. That's according to Austin Mayor Steve Adler, who adamantly disagrees with Senate Bill 2 (SB 2) and House Bill 2...

Examining the Legislature's proposed lowering of rollback

Statesman, Apr. 18, 2019

Last month, we talked about how tax rates on property appraisals determine your property taxes and that the Legislature has for years set a rollback rate (now 8% above the effective tax rate) that attempts to keep a lid on property taxes...

Senate approves limit on property tax rate hikes

The Henderson News, Apr. 17, 2019

Local taxing entities would have less room to raise property taxes before they have to ask voters for approval under a bill passed by the Senate on Monday. Under current law, school districts, cities, counties and other special taxing entities can raise taxes...

Senate passes property tax reform bill

The Rockport Pilot, Apr. 17, 2019

The Texas Senate broke a logjam Monday that had paralyzed a piece of priority legislation for weeks - blunting a controversial provision in its property tax reform package and then advancing the bill, without having to deploy a procedural "nuclear option" to move it...

Gov. Greg Abbott explains sales tax swap proposal

KVUE ABC, Apr. 16, 2019

Governor Greg Abbott has a threefold plan to ease property taxes for Texas homeowners. He told KVUE News that if lawmakers pass property tax reform and property appraisal reform, he would like to propose an increase of the sales tax by one penny to...

Bettencourt's bill to cap property tax hikes passes state senate

Houston Chronicle, Apr. 16, 2019

Municipalities may soon have less leeway when it comes to determining how much they can raise property taxes without the input of the people who would end up paying them...

With obstacles out of the way, Texas Senate passes property tax overhaul bill

Dallas News, Apr. 16, 2019

Legislation that would slow property tax increases for home and business owners cleared the Texas Senate on Monday, after the sole Republican opponent of the bill stepped aside to allow the vote...

Texas Senate gives local governments more breathing room for property tax revenue growth

Texas Tribune, Apr. 15, 2019

After a key Republican holdout agreed to bring a priority bill to the floor, the upper chamber increased an election trigger on revenue increases from 2.5% to 3.5%. But now both chambers must reconcile how they want to tackle rising school district taxes...

Texas Senate votes to advance property tax reform bill

Fox 7 Austin, Apr. 15, 2019

The Texas Senate today voted to advance an amended Senate Bill 2 after hours of debate. SB 2, as amended, would require cities, counties and other taxing entities to receive voter approval before raising property taxes above a 3.5 percent cap...

Taxing entities discuss how proposed bill, cap could impact budgets, finances

Daily Light - Waxahachie TX, Apr. 9, 2019

No matter what the 86th Texas Legislature decides this session, property taxes will be a "Catch-22" for all of Ellis County, said Waxahachie Mayor Kevin Strength...

Property tax relief: Bills under consideration similar to last session, Shine says

TDT News, Apr. 8, 2019

The Texas House will have some déjà vu on Thursday when it considers a bill aiming to bring greater transparency and some relief to property taxes. "This is exactly the same bill and legislation that we basically passed out of the House last session twice," state Rep. Hugh Shine said, raising two fingers in the air to stress his point...

Paul Bettencourt is fighting for property tax reform in the Texas Senate

Texas Tribune, Apr. 5, 2019

The "Tax Man," a Republican senator from Houston, has his best chance yet to shake up Texas' property tax system. But it's going to be an uphill battle...

Rawlings threatens city layoffs if House bill passes

WFAA, Apr. 4, 2019

As the state legislature considers a 2.5 percent cap for city property tax revenue increases, cities say it will result in deep cuts to services with little savings to taxpayers...

Protect your city's public safety from the Texas Legislature's 'revenue caps'

Caller Times, Apr. 4, 2019

Texas must not cap Corpus Christi’s ability to protect public safety and other critical and basic needs. Right now, state legislators are advancing a “revenue cap” proposal that could be disastrous for people in the Coastal Bend and across Texas...

'Revenue caps' threaten essential, basic services

The Daily News - Galveston County, Apr. 3, 2019

In a misguided attempt at tax relief, the Texas Legislature is moving to impose dramatically low revenue caps on cities. State legislators are advancing House Bill 2 and Senate Bill 2 to impose a 2.5 percent cap on annual property tax increases...

Property tax reform bills get a new spark of life in the Texas Legislature

Houston Chronicle, Mar. 29, 2019

Property tax reform plans in the Texas Legislature showed their first flickers of life in more than a month, but that doesn't necessarily mean lawmakers have resolved their major hurdles in their push to give homeowners a break from ever-increasing tax bills...

Texas House committee advances priority property tax legislation, keeping 2.5 percent election trigger

The Texas Tribune, Mar. 28, 2019

House Republicans muscled a heavily altered version of their property tax reform bill through a committee early Thursday, notching a single Democratic vote and swiftly shooting down attempts to further modify the draft...

Texas House Committee Passes Property Tax Reform Bill

Houston Public Media, Mar. 28, 2019

Texas homeowners are a step closer to getting relief on their property taxes. The House Ways and Means Committee has approved a property tax reform measure, which Governor Greg Abbott considers an emergency item. The House bill would limit the amount...

Bill to cap property taxes for local governments advances out of Texas House committee

Dallas News, Mar. 28, 2019

At a meeting that started after midnight, Texas House members advanced a bill to dramatically change the way local governments can collect property taxes. House Bill 2, by Rep. Dustin Burrows, R-Lubbock, was approved in the House Ways and Means...

Updated property tax reform proposal surfaces in the Texas House

Your Basin, Mar. 27, 2019

In an effort to continue working toward property tax reform, a Texas House chairman tasked with spearheading the issue this legislative session sent colleagues a new draft of his high-priority bill on Tuesday — the day before his committee could vote to...

Austin officials, lawmakers at odds over how to provide property tax relief

Community Impact Newspaper, Mar. 27, 2019

Providing property tax relief to taxpayers has broad bipartisan support, but how to achieve that relief is under debate at the Texas Capitol. State lawmakers will consider two bills—Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 2—in the 86th legislative session that are aimed at...

Updated property tax reform proposal surfaces in the Texas House

Fort Worth Business Press, Mar. 26, 2019

In an effort to continue working toward property tax reform, a Texas House chairman tasked with spearheading the issue this legislative session sent colleagues a new draft of his high-priority bill on Tuesday — the day before his committee could vote to...

Local leaders at odds with Texas legislative focus on slowing property tax growth

Community Impact Newspaper, Mar. 12, 2019

Lamwkers in the 86th Texas Legislature have several ideas to slow property tax growth and overhaul education finance. Republican leaders announced a plan in January that would recude the state's 8 percent limit on rollback tax revenue growth to...

State legislators seek to curb property tax increases, local officials point to assessment growth

Community Impact Newspaper, Mar. 12, 2019

Property tax reform has been a top priority for Texas lawmakers from the start of the 86th legislative session. The early filing of identical, wide-reaching bills in the House and Senate in January — Senate Bill 2 and the House Bill 2 — sparked debate on the...

Local chambers urge lawmakers to stop unfunded mandates

TDT News, Mar. 11, 2019

It is time for Texas lawmakers to fully fund their expenditures instead of passing the buck down to local governments. That is the message the Temple, Belton Area, Greater Killeen, and the Harker Heights chambers of commerce issued to the Legislature on Monday...

Local chambers join forces to oppose proposed revenue cap

KWTX 10, Mar. 11, 2019

For the first time, a group of local chambers of commerce is uniting against plans to keep property taxes lower. Currently, property taxes can only increase up to eight percent each year; anything higher can get "rolled back" by voters...

2.5 percent tax rollback rate faces steep odds State leaders clash with city leaders over property tax reform

El Paso Inc., Feb. 24, 2019

Three weeks ago Gov. Greg Abbott convened state leaders to announce an achievement he hailed as "unprecedented"...

City: State's tax plan would have put $12 million in jeopardy in past 5 years

Waco Tribune-Herald, Mar. 9, 2019

The Waco City Council last week blasted the Texas Legislature’s property tax plan, which would require local voters’ approval for municipal governments to increase property tax revenue by 2.5 percent or more year-to-year, excluding newly taxed property...

Frisco officials look for compromise on tax caps

Community Impact, Mar. 9, 2019

The city of Frisco is working with Texas legislators on potential changes to a proposed property tax revenue cap to accommodate fast-growth cities. The proposal, spelled out in two identical bills filed in the state House and Senate earlier this year, would cap...

Central Texas chambers of commerce oppose state property tax measure

TDT News, Mar. 6, 2019

Central Texas chambers of commerce are opposing a plan presented by the governor’s office to cap property tax revenue increases, in spite of bipartisan support among voters...

Daily Sun Editorial: State must find way to lessen burden on counties

Corsicana, Mar. 2, 2019

Political subdivisions around Texas are forced by state lawmakers to take on unfunded mandates every season, and we don't think that's going to change soon. Some of the unfunded mandates include indigent defense, attorneys for Child Protective Services...

Property tax relief bills wouldn't lower tax bills or decrease budgets

Hill Country News, Feb. 28, 2019

In Texas, property taxes keep local governments like cities, counties and school districts operating and pay for everything from police officers’ salaries to city street repairs and classroom textbooks...

In the Texas House, property tax legislation is being handled with a different speed — and tone

Texas Tribune, Feb. 28, 2019

State Rep. Dustin Burrows, author of the House bill, said the House Ways and Means Committee is "not just trying to get something across the finish line as quick as we can...

Homeowners, city leaders give lawmakers an earful in property tax hearing

East Texas Matters, Feb. 27, 2019

In the first public hearing for the House attempt to reform the property tax system in Texas, lawmakers got an earful from homeowners and city leaders about the effects of proposed changes...

Pfluggerville City Council passes measure opposing SB-2

KVUE, Feb. 27, 2019

Pflugerville City Council is just the latest group pushing against the bill that would keep property taxes from going up more than two and a half percent without a vote...

Local Leaders Today Urging the Texas House to Reject a 'Hard Cap' on Tax

1200 News Radio WOAI, Feb. 27, 2019

County judges and mayors from across Texas, both Democrat and Republican, will gather at the State Capitol today to urge the State House Ways and Means Committee to reject Gov. Abbott's proposal to impose a hard cap of 2 1/2 percent on the revenue increases...

Huntington opposes proposed property tax cap

The Lufkin Daily News, Feb. 26, 2019

Senate and House Bills 2 are identical bills to further lock down how much a city can raise taxes before it is called to an election. It would prevent tax rate escalation above 2.5 percent without a vote by the city...

Council opposes tax bill despite outcry

OA Online, Feb. 26, 2019

The Odessa City Council voted unanimously to oppose a state bill that would lower the property tax rollback rate, despite disagreement from several local residents...

Some rural Republicans reserving judgement on GOP property tax plan

Statesman, Feb. 22, 2019

A key provision in marquee property tax legislation, hailed by Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republican leaders as an antidote to rising property taxes, is intended to draw the support of rural lawmakers...

How do Texas governments calculate your property taxes? Here's a primer.

Texas Tribune, Feb. 20, 2019

Several government entities — from appraisal districts to city councils — play independent roles that collectively determine how much money Texas landowners owe local governments each year...

Analysis: Skirting the rules in the Texas Senate — but doing it by the book

Texas Tribune, Feb. 20, 2019

Sometimes, the way around the established traditions of the Texas Senate is to be found in the least obvious place: the Senate's own rulebook...

Travis County commissioners push back against proposed rollback tax rate, advocate for school finance reform

Community Impact, Feb. 20, 2019

Travis County commissioners voted unanimously to approve a resolution pushing back against a property tax revenue cap proposed by state lawmakers at its Feb. 19 meeting. Precinct 3 Commissioner Gerald Daugherty was not in attendance...

After state leaders' unified rollout, 2.5 percent rollback rate on property tax bill looks unlikely to stick

Texas Tribune, Feb. 19, 2019

Weeks after state leaders trumpeted a consensus property tax reform proposal, few seem married to the bill's pitch to cut the rollback rate to 2.5 percent...

Legislature traditions keeping revenue caps at bay, for now

Austin Monitor, Feb. 19, 2019

Travis County has a lot to lose if the Texas Legislature decides to discard tradition for the sake of passing the four property tax relief bills that have been filed this session...

Lamar County officials respond to bill limiting property tax raises

The Paris News, Feb. 17, 2019

A legislative bill pushed through the Texas Senate’s new Property Tax Committee is not sitting well with local government officials...

Bill Whitaker: Property-tax fight exposes state's own hypocrisy

Waco Tribune-Herald, Feb. 16, 2019

During its Feb. 5 meeting, the Waco City Council approved $5.4 million for water and wastewater infrastructure work to address deteriorating pipes and an overwhelmed sewer system, plus reconstruction of South 26th Street from Clay to Bagby avenues, all atop...

In property tax fight, clout of local officials hangs in balance

Statesman, Feb. 15, 2019

A key provision in Texas property tax law that has held firm for nearly four decades appears on the verge of major change as Republican state leaders are determined to ratchet down how much tax money schools, cities, counties and community colleges can raise...

Analysis: It takes more than three high officials to make Texas laws

Texas Tribune, Feb. 13, 2019

The state’s top leaders spent the beginning of the legislative session talking about unity, comity and how they were on the same track, ready to work, and even filing identical copies of important bills in the House and the Senate...

Senate Committee Votes to Send Property Tax Reform Bill to Full Senate

1200 WOAI News Radio, Feb. 12, 2019

The Texas Senate's Property Tax Committee has approved an amended version of Senate Bill 2, which calls for lowering the voter "trigger" for a rollback election from 8 percent to 2.5 percent for entities that collect more than $15 million in property taxes...

Days after heated meeting, Texas Senate property tax committee passes 2.5 percent rollback rate bill

Fort Worth Business Press, Feb. 11, 2019

The Texas Senate’s new Property Tax Committee moved with breakneck speed Monday to advance a controversial proposal on one of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s top legislative priorities: slowing property tax growth...

Grieder: Texans deserve fair hearing on property tax proposal

Houston Chronicle, Feb. 8, 2019

Texas homeowners, many burdened by high and rising property taxes, can rightly understand why Republican leaders like Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick want the Texas Legislature to tackle property tax reform this year...

Other Voices: What Texas editors are saying

Longview News-Journal, Feb. 8, 2019

Texas’ top leaders wanted to get out in front of the property tax issue. They mostly succeeded in getting ahead of themselves. While we appreciate Gov. Greg Abbott’s and state House and Senate leaders’ desire to show unanimity with each other, and...

Property tax relief bill to impact Taylor County if adopted

KTXS 12, Feb. 7, 2019

Taylor County Judge Downing Bolls may have to make cuts to the county’s budget in the future after Senate Bill 2, a property tax relief bill, had its first Texas Senate hearing...

Texas homeowners rejoice, local leaders brace for cuts as property tax cap gets 1st Senate hearing

Dallas News, Feb. 7, 2019

A property tax relief bill that would force local governments and school districts to cap their tax revenue endured its first hurdle Wednesday after hours of testimony from nervous city leaders, who fear tighter budgets, and homeowners giddy about...

Houston area officials oppose Texas Legislature's proposed rollback tax rate

Impact Newspaper, Feb. 6, 2019

Identical property tax reform bills filed in the Texas House and Senate Jan. 31 have support from some high-ranking lawmakers in Austin, but Houston-area officials are worried the proposed measures could limit their ability to increase revenue...

Senators hush critics at first property tax reform hearing

Houston Chronicle, Feb. 6, 2019

At the first hearing on aggressive property tax reforms on Wednesday, it was clear that state senators intended to bulldoze over objections to legislation limiting future increases in taxes collected by local governments...

Property tax relief, but only for some: small Texas cities and counties exempted from bill

Dallas News, Feb. 5, 2019

Republican leaders promised tax relief for property owners this year, but that relief might be less significant for Texans in small cities and counties...

Public testimony on property tax bill set for Wednesday

KTXS 12, Feb. 4, 2019

Property taxes continue to soar in Texas, and the Governor believes a 2.5 percent tax revenue cap is part of the solution...

Editorial: Governor's property-tax reform bill could impact streets, public safety

Wace Tribune-Herald, Feb. 2, 2019

When pressed about state leaders’ concerted effort to legislate tighter revenue caps on cities, counties and school districts, Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver expressed not only grave disappointment but the fact local control has long been championed as a...

Lawmakers unveil tax reform plan

Texarkana Gazette, Feb. 2, 2019

Taxing entities, including local school districts, would have to get permission from voters to raise property taxes more than 2.5 percent annually under identical legislation filed in both chambers this week...

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick: Statement on Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 2

The Gilmer Mirror, Feb. 1, 2019

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick joined Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen today to announce the filing of two identical property tax reform bills in the Texas Senate and the Texas House...

State GOP leaders seek to limit property tax increases

Statesman, Feb. 1, 2019

The top three power-brokers at the Capitol — Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton — announced Thursday they had agreed on legislation that would place strict limits on how much school districts, cities and counties can raise taxes...

Senator Bettencourt files Senate Bill 2 — The Texas Property Tax Reform and Relief Act

Texas Insider, Feb. 1, 2019

Today Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Patrick, and Speaker Bonnen announced that Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) filed Senate Bill 2, the Texas Property Tax Reform and Relief Act. Representative Burrows (R-Lubbock) filed the identical bill in the house...

Texas leaders' proposal would set lower cap to trigger property tax vote; local officials skeptical

Waco Tribune-Herald, Jan. 31, 2019

Flanked by the state’s top legislative leaders, Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday announced that both chambers of the Texas Legislature will push to curb property tax growth by limiting how much money local governments collect without voter approval...

City, school officials respond to Texas leaders' united front on a proposal to cap property tax revenues

Impact Newspaper, Jan. 31, 2019

State lawmakers are proposing a 2.5 percent cap on property tax revenue growth with identical bills filed in both legislative chambers...

Texas leaders want voters to OK property tax revenue growth over 2.5 percent. They couldn't get 4 percent in 2017.

The Texas Tribune, Jan. 31, 2019

The leaders of both legislative chambers say they will be united this year — even if cities and counties push back — and that local officials should come to Austin with solutions in hand if they don't like new proposals...

Governor, top Texas state leaders settle on property tax plan as others raise alarms

Houston Chronicle, Jan. 31, 2019

The three most powerful players in state government declared their unified support Thursday for an aggressive plan to place a 2.5-percent limit on property tax hikes enacted by school districts, cities and counties...

Critics say bill filed to limit property tax increases will have unintended consequences

News 4 San Antonio, Jan. 31, 2019

Texas' top leaders say they have a plan to provide property tax relief to homeowners. Two identical bills, House Bill 2 and Senate Bill 2, were filed Thursday morning. The bills would keep taxing entities from raising taxes more than 2.5 percent a year...

Property tax relief is directly tied to school funding

My San Antonio, Jan. 30, 2019


If Gov. Greg Abbott is serious about lowering property taxes for Texans, he will need to do better than the latest plan he has offered. This plan takes bad ideas from the last legislative session and amplifies them. It targets cities and counties, and fails to adequately address school finance...

Carrollton officials staying positive about legislative session

CarrolltonLeader, Jan. 30, 2019


The 86th Texas Legislative session is in progress and while several issues are on the table for discussion, Carrollton officials remain positive that legislators will make good decisions...

'Skyrocketing property taxes' are a problem for many Texans, but will Gov. Abbott's plan help?

The Dallas Morning News, Nov. 20, 2018


After Becky Hunter’s husband died in 2012, the combination of grief and having to maintain a house proved too much for her and her daughter to handle. So they sold their home of 16 years and moved to a condo in Richardson.

Republican lawmakers, don't take revenge on Texas' big blue urban cities

The Dallas Morning News, Nov. 16, 2018


We get why "rein in local property taxes" has become a rallying cry from Gov. Greg Abbott and politicians throuhgout Texas as go into the next legislative session. Few residents have managed to avoid the pinch from burgeoning tax bills that have been caused by rising property values.

Analysis: Texas' school finance problem in one pesky chart

The Texas Tribune, Oct. 10, 2018


A fresh update of a single budget chart shows who's paying for public education in Texas: More than half of the money comes from local property taxpayers, just over a third comes from the state, and the federal government spends about a dime of every dollar schools cost.

State deserves some blame for ire over rising property values, tax rates

Waco Tribune-Herald, Sept. 16, 2017


State funding that has failed to keep pace with a growing school-age population plus state mandated increases in appraised values combine to force schools to increase local property taxes.

Analysis: Why rising property values don’t lower school taxes

The Texas Tribune, Dec. 14, 2016


Rising property values in Texas should have lowered school property tax rates. But they didn't, and you can thank the folks who write the state budget for that.

Don't be Fooled by Property Tax Shell Game

The Corpus Christi Caller Times, Dec. 3, 2016


An editorial from Bennett Sandlin, of the Texas Municipal League, that succinctly discusses many of the issues that both cities and counties have with revenue caps.

Analysis: High property taxes start in Austin, not in school districts

The Texas Tribune, Oct. 24, 2016


As property values increase, the state will spend less on schools as more of the districts’ funding comes from increases in local property taxes. State officials, who set up this process, can then blame local officials for increasing local taxes while patting themselves on the back for holding down state taxes.

Mayor Turner Calls for End of Property Tax Revenue Cap, More Police

Houston Business Journal, May 5, 2016


Houston Mayor Turner called for an end to the controversial property tax revenue cap in 2017 in order to fund needed city services including hiring additional police officers.

Arbitrary caps deny local governments flexibility

Salado Village Voice, April 8, 2016


Since Texas is heavily dependent on property taxes to fund local government and public education, rates here are higher than in states which rely more heavily on other sources of revenue...

Houston's Credit Downgraded by Second Ratings Agency

Houston Chronicle, March 21, 2016


Citing the city’s unfunded pension liability, exacerbated by the 2004 voter-approved revenue cap and low oil prices, Standard & Poor’s joins Moody’s in downgrading Houston’s credit rating.

Moody's Downgrades Houston's (TX) GOLT to Aa3; Maintains Negative Outlook

Moody’s, March 16, 2016


Moody's Investors Service downgraded the City of Houston's (TX) general obligation limited tax rating (GOLT) to Aa3 from Aa2, affecting approximately $3 billion in previously issued bonds. Suggested removing the city’s revenue cap as one factor that could improve the negative rating outlook.

Have property taxes gone up, really?

Center for Public Policy Priorities, March 14, 2016


Compares the long-term growth in property taxes with that of total personal income and explains why total personal income is a better measuring stick than median household income.

Patrick’s Bexar property tax analysis is faulty

San Antonio Express News, Feb. 21, 2016


Bexar County Judge Wolff explains why Lt. Gov. Patrick’s claim that there was a 62 percent increase in the property tax levy of Bexar County from 2005 to 2014 is misleading. Judge Wolff notes that the state budget increased by 74 percent over the same time period.

Time to reduce local government revenue cap

San Antonio Express News, Feb. 1, 2016


Lt. Gov. Patrick claims county property taxes increased 62 percent from 2005 to 2014 and compares that to a 26 percent increase in median household income. He concludes by promising that “the Texas Senate will act on [property taxes] during the 2017 legislative session.”

PolitiFact: Texas property taxes high, but burden varies

Austin American-Statesman, Jan. 27, 2016


Analysis reveals that 81.6 percent of local tax revenue comes from the property tax, in part because Texas does not have an income tax. However, the analysis also determines that while Texas may have higher property taxes, the overall tax burden is very low compared to other states.

Tab to Texas tax[p]ayers for Twin Peaks could top $500,000

San Antonio Express News, Sep. 22, 2015


McLennan County alone expects to apply initially for up to $270,000 in criminal justice funds from the governor’s office to help offset costs associated with the Twin Peaks shootout and its aftermath.

Op-ed: Houston finances not in turmoil

Houston Business Journal, Aug. 7, 2015


Houston’s mayor responds to an article in the Houston Business Journal pronouncing the City of Houston “on the brink of a financial crisis” following the issuance of a negative outlook from Moody’s due to concerns about pensions and the City’s voter-approved revenue cap limitations.

Ron Paul: Jasper County raised taxes to pay for a death penalty case

Austin-American Statesman, July 11, 2015


Investigation of a statement by Ron Paul that Jasper County raised taxes by 7 percent in a single year just to pay for a capital murder trial in the late 1990’s.

Impact of a 4 percent Rollback Rate

County Issues, April 2, 2015


Let’s take a look at the effects and unintended consequences a four percent rollback rate would have on both counties and property owners.

Waco leaders say property tax legislation would tie hands, March 8, 2015


Local government leaders are raising a red flag about proposed legislation that could further limit their ability to raise revenue.

A View from West Texas: What’s Happening to Local Control Republicanism?

West Texas Drive, March 1, 2015


TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, the Texas Republican revolution forged west of I-35 and up the Caprock to limit government and entrust us to govern ourselves (as well as to implement term limits, but that’s a subject for another time).

Legislators busy tallying cost of tax cuts

San Antonio Express News, Feb. 14, 2015


Tax cuts promised by top Republican leaders are running into the hard reality of billions of dollars in competing needs for transportation, education, border security...

Property tax rate cap elicits opposition from county, cities

The Texas Way, Jan. 12, 2015


Property tax rate cap elicits opposition from county, cities...