10 Facts About Property Taxes In Texas

Property taxes are one of the most confusing systems that taxpayers are tasked with understanding in Texas.

The system itself is purposely complicated, with lawmakers changing definitions and the state Tax Code nearly every two years, it is nearly impossible for the average taxpayer to keep up.  Fortunately, there are some lawmakers attempting to make confusing tax systems understandable for the average Texan.

Thursday, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility (TFR) taxpayer champion, State Rep.Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler) shared 10 facts on Twitter that we feel could be very helpful for Texas taxpayers to know.


These are extremely helpful facts about property taxes that most taxpayers should find to serve them well.

As many of our subscribers know, TFR has been advocating for the elimination of property taxes for well over a year now. Recently we have published content aimed at helping Texas taxpayers through the appraisal and protest process. It is shameful that these items must be explained as they seem to be intentionally confusing in an effort to dissuade Texans from protesting their taxes to get a lower bill.

TFR finds all of these facts helpful but specifically the most often missed fact is the concept of the “No New Revenue Rate”. This is the rate that local entities should set to bring in the same amount of revenue as last year. If appraisals go up, obviously, this would result in more revenue for the local government. However, as noted in Schaefer’s post, this rate is set after all appraisals are finalized.  This gives the local entities time to do the right thing, which is to lower their tax bill. It also gives homeowners time to get involved in the process by attending these rate-setting meetings and speaking against rate hikes, even going so far as to encourage local government officials to lower tax burdens!

If you are a taxpayer who just received your tax bill and find yourself angry about your appraisal, you should set your mind to attend these meetings in your city and demand they lower rates and tax burdens to help homeowners suffering inflated home prices. You can also use this time to speak against property taxes in general and suggest we abolish this immoral and unfair way of taxing Texans. This is precisely what TFR has been advocating for over the past year. 

Remember that we elect the school boards and local officials that set our rates, if your local government has failed to lower your tax rates we suggest voting against them and removing them from office, and replacing them with fiscal conservatives that will. Consider that any bonds that you vote for will raise your taxes in the I & S portion of property tax formula. We strongly suggest voting against all bonds until lawmakers are willing to reform our broken tax system. The only people who pay for the debt that local governments advocate for are you the taxpayer.

An educated and active electorate is the only defense against the unaccountable local governments that have caused this property tax crisis. TFR encourages you to get involved, or better yet run for office. As always we are here to be a resource to you and help in any way that we can.

Biden Administration Floats Federal Student Loan Forgiveness

On Monday, President Biden met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, where among other issues he mentioned that his administration is looking into options to forgive a substantial but unspecified amount of federal student loan debt.

Earlier this month, the Biden Administration extended the moratorium on federal student loan payments through the end of August 2022. This comes at the heels of significantly less favorable poll numbers and a stalled domestic agenda from the administration itself. The Biden Administration has thus far extended this moratorium four times.

Student loan forgiveness has long been a pet policy goal of the regressive left, with little regard to who would end up footing the bill. Since the beginning of Biden’s presidency, he has been under increased pressure to do something about it.

How Much Debt Are We Talking About Here?

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the amount of student loan debt has nearly doubled over the last ten years. Over 43 million Americans owe a total of nearly $1.75 trillion. You read that correctly, $1.75 trillion, or read another way $1,750,000,000,000.

The average federal student loan debt balance is $37,113 per debtor. Student loan debt is the second-highest debt category, after home mortgages for borrowers. Among those attending colleges today, 65% graduate with student debt.

It is an unsustainable number, but some worry that asking the government to forgive loans themselves continues to add fuel to the proverbial financial fire the United States currently finds itself in already. With record-high inflation and runaway government spending already, taxpayers are already feeling the consequences of irresponsible government financial decisions.

You Took Out a Loan, So Pay It Back!

 The federal student loan program was purportedly designed to help students obtain the means for higher education, regardless of age and financial experience. The program is unique in that it gives virtually no consideration to a borrower’s creditworthiness or loan repayment history.

While running for President in 2020, Biden backed the idea of some student loan forgiveness. While speaking at a campaign event in Miami, Florida he said,

“I’m going to make sure that everybody in this generation gets $10,000 knocked off of their student debt as we try to get out of this God-awful pandemic.”

According to an analysis provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, forgiving $10,000 of student loan debt for every borrower would amount to nearly $321 billion.

Thus far, Congress has been reluctant to act on this issue, not having a majority of Senate Democrats in favor of such a policy change. This reluctance has led many on the regressive left to call for Biden to provide relief through executive action.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki indicated at a White House press briefing on Monday that the Biden Administration would make a decision to continue to extend the moratorium or take action on student debt between now and the end of August.

Recently there has been increased pressure by Congressional Democrats to cancel debt as high as $50,000 per borrower, including by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York).

Forgiving $50,000 in borrower debt would cost about $904 billion, according to the same analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It would completely forgive the overall debt of nearly 30 million borrowers.

As a defensive measure, Republican Senators filed legislation that would limit the ability of the Biden Administration to suspend student loan repayments going forward.

In filing the legislation, U.S. Senator Mike Braun (R-Indiana) released a statement Wednesday,

“Why should they be forced to pick up the tab for college degrees in the name of pandemic relief? This transfer of wealth is not a move to ‘advance equity,’ but rather a taxpayer handout to appease far-left activists.”

Federal student loan programs were created in 1965 as a part of then-President Lyndon B. Johnson’s ‘Great Society,’ with the passage of the Higher Education Act. This legislation essentially flipped the idea of traditional lending on its head, becoming yet another example of where Congress essentially decided it knew better than the markets did, allowing lending to take place to anyone regardless of creditworthiness and financial literacy.

Fast forward to today, no real market exists in higher education, largely due to the way federal student loans are administered, and it appears the Biden Administration might be set on continuing the madness.

Fiscal House on Fire

 In the event student loan forgiveness becomes a reality, President Biden would ultimately be manipulating what was agreed upon as a loan between the borrower and the financial institution to that of a gift, all at the expense of the taxpayer.

It is economically delusional, and will only perpetuate a broken system.

The U.S. National Debt sits at over $30 trillion. Runaway government spending exacerbated over the last few presidential administrations has set the United States on an unsustainable financial path that will only continue to ensure less prosperity for future generations of Americans. Potentially adding to this fiscal insanity for the potential of popular support going into the midterm elections is a terrible trade-off for American taxpayers.

Fiscal Conservatives Start From Wrong Premise on State Spending

Ask yourself, do you believe the government is too big already?

More often than not the answer we get at Texans for Fiscal Responsibility (TFR) as we travel around the state, visiting with Texas taxpayers, is a resounding yes!

Despite this, for years now, the Texas Legislature has appropriated more money to fund state government than in the legislative session that preceded it.

The Last Two Decades

Republicans have controlled every statewide elected office and held majorities (to include a supermajority at one point) in the state legislature for nearly two decades. Despite this and in spite of many of them claiming to be fiscally conservative, state government appropriations have increased nearly 170% in that time, whilst Texas’ population has grown by about 40%.

Now, undoubtedly, that population growth does come with its own challenges, including things like infrastructure and public safety, which necessitate government spending, but Texas is on track to triple its state spending in a matter of only 25 years.

Why then, do some lawmakers consider the current growth ‘conservative’?

“Conservative” Texas Budget

The answer to the aforementioned question is simple. The recent budget growth abides by being within the confines of growth in population and inflation. What this metric assumes, however, is that the previously appropriated money by the state legislature was all absolutely necessary and not wasteful.

To be clear, using these metrics is certainly better than not having restraints at all, no matter how arbitrary, but with increased spending comes increased tax burdens and liabilities on future prosperity.

TFR believes that fiscal conservatives are starting from the wrong premise. If the state government is assumed as too large, why do we continue to fund more of it every biennium?

State Spending Limit(s)

In 2021, during the 87th legislative session, the state legislature finally passed a long-term priority of fiscal watchdogs in Texas by approving another constitutional state spending limit.

Previously, the state constitutional spending limit only included state tax revenue that was not dedicated by the constitution. Now, it officially sets the spending limit to the confines of the rate of growth of both population and inflation.

In 2012, Republicans overwhelmingly supported a ballot proposition in support of this spending limit addition, and though legislative efforts were stalled for years, its passage in the most recent regular legislative session, creates a good step forward in state spending going forward, but is it enough?

Fiscal Responsibility Not Prioritized in Legislature

Simply put, the Texas Legislature does not prioritize fiscal responsibility.

Yes, in recent legislative sessions they have generally ‘slowed the growth’ by which the state appropriates money, which should be lauded, but legislative leadership does not seem interested in actually cutting that spending or ensuring the government itself stops growing.

If they were serious, state lawmakers and more specifically those who sit on the respective appropriation committees would make actual efforts to rid the state budget of onerous government agencies and programs and streamline legitimate government functions to run more efficiently.

This phenomenon is reflected in our own Fiscal Responsibility Index, where the overall average of the Texas Legislature is that of a 40 or a possible 100. (The State Senate average is that of 50/100 whilst the House of Representatives is that of 38/100)

Lawmakers routinely approve of legislation that increases the use of corporate welfare, increases regulation on businesses, and continue the functions of state agencies that were recommended to either be abolished or reformed by the Texas Sunset Commission, which literally exists to review these things.

In order to ensure future prosperity, TFR believes that Texas taxpayers should demand that their lawmakers ban the practice of taxpayer-funded lobbying, eliminate the property tax, and adopt a ‘no-growth’ budget among other issues.

Reports are already circulating that the state lawmakers could be looking at nearly a $25 billion surplus in the next legislative session. With inflation hitting yet another 40-year high causing the cost of living to rise, coupled with reportedly high property tax appraisals all across the state, despite promised relief by the state legislature, the time is now for the state to get its fiscal house in order and prioritize fiscal responsibility.

They Shout Relief, But Where Is It?

Despite years of desperate cries from Texas taxpayers seeking significant property tax relief, Texans are once again being reminded that our lawmakers have no real desire to help lower our property tax bills.

With stories of many Texas taxpayers experiencing as high as 120% increases in purported property values, Texans are realizing the current system is just simply not sustainable. However, if you asked a member of the Texas Legislature… they gave us historic property tax relief in 2019, what are we complaining about?

A new assessment by the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association has confirmed what Texans for Fiscal Responsibility (TFR) has been saying for years now: There has been no relief, just merely a slowing of the growth of the overall tax burdens.

Unfortunately, this has been the status quo in our great state for decades, as taxpayers have generally been content to not go after elected officials who desire to grow our government to unsustainable proportions. These results can be seen in a number of metrics, including the Texas budget, which has grown 169% since 2000, and TFR expects that after a year of runaway inflation and state lawmakers already chomping at the bit to spend a reported massive surplus, we could soon see a state budget which has tripled in size in just 25 years right here in Texas.

Does this sound like a state that is controlled by fiscal conservatives that believe in small government?

Actions always speak louder than words and our state lawmakers have made their positions abundantly clear, they have no intention of returning the reported $25 billion surplus to its rightful owners, the taxpayers. Taxpayers’ only recourse if this is the case is to force lawmakers to do the right thing. As long as taxpayers remain unwilling to engage with their local government officials and state lawmakers, while simultaneously continuing to elect career politicians that lie and deceive them to maintain power, they can only expect things to continue to get worse. Taxpayers will be taxed out of their homes. It is no longer a matter of “if” but “when”.

What Can Taxpayers Do Right Now?

The first step is to protest your appraisal. If taxpayers refused to lie down and accept the oftentimes subjected and inflated appraisals they receive from corrupt appraisal districts and instead protested, we would gum up their system worse than any bureaucrat could handle. Taxpayers should also advocate for reforms in their own party convention processes. TFR has written and is supporting resolutions to add to the Republican Party Platform for instance that would support eliminating the property tax, ending taxpayer-funded lobbying, and stopping our state budget growth in its tracks. All three of these areas directly affect the tax burden imposed upon Texans.

Taxpayers must also show up to the state capitol and advocate for real property tax reform in the next legislative session by testifying in committees, protesting, and generally making their state lawmakers uncomfortable. Moreover, if our lawmakers and elected officials refuse to provide actual tax relief, taxpayers should vote them out of office and never look back. Political change will not happen unless taxpayers are able to bring an overwhelming and destabilizing message to politicians: Get it done or get out of the way.

TFR has made it our mission to advocate for the complete elimination of the immoral and unjust property tax system and we will not stop until we have killed it completely. We are here to be a resource to taxpayers and to provide education and training to equip citizens to engage their government effectively and efficiently. We are tired of these lawmakers’ lies as much as you are, let’s do something about it together.

Sign our petition to eliminate property taxes and let your voice be heard in Austin!

Inflation Hits a 40 Year High… Again

The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released Tuesday reveals that year-over-year inflation for the month of March hit 8.5%. This was a 1.2% increase from the previous month of February. Inflation has become a major problem for most Americans and unfortunately, it does not seem to be showing any signs of slowing down.

The CPI is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services. It has been a metric for measuring inflation for years but does not always paint a perfectly accurate picture of overall inflation. However, it does provide a closer look at how particular sectors are doing from an inflationary standpoint. It can have explanatory power for why your bills continue to go up, especially on important reoccurring items in your household budget.

Most taxpayers have probably noticed that food and grocery prices have gone up quite a bit in the last year. The CPI data reflects that growth and shows that food, in general, has gone up 8.8% in that time. Food prices are expected to continue to rise to historic levels for a number of different reasons in the near future due to things like supply chain issues, the increased price of fertilizer, and general shortages due to terrible policymaking in response to COVID-19 by various echelons of government.

Another commodity that has proven problematic to most taxpayers as of late is the price of gasoline. In the last year, gasoline has risen 48% and the price of oil has increased 70%! This, ofcourse does not come as a surprise to anyone who has filled up at the pump in the last few months. There are a number of factors that have caused this but the problem can ultimately be boiled down to bad policy in the end. The United States has halted its efforts to produce oil in mass and has shut down projects like the Keystone Pipeline under the disastrous Biden regime.

The price of used cars and trucks has gone up 38%  in the last year as well, causing more problems for travelers that are already struggling with the price of gasoline. The left’s solution to this problem is not to allow the U.S. to start producing oil en masse again, ultimately ending our dependence on foreign oil, but rather has been to chastise Americans for not buying brand new $70k electric vehicles. This is one of the many reasons why Biden’s approval rating sits at an abysmal 42%.

The solution should be simple and it is the same solution that can be applied to all economic woes. The government needs to get out of the way. Regulation slows production and economic growth. Yet seemingly, the worse things get the harder the government seems to want to clamp down, focusing more on environmental and ‘woke’ extremism rather than helping everyday Americans that are barely making it day to day.

Texas, which generally does better than the rest of the nation, has its own struggles. Texas has the 6th highest property taxes in the nation, and many Texas taxpayers are in the midst of getting hit with extremely high appraisals and tax bills as this is written.

The bad news is that Texas taxpayers will have to wait until January of 2023 in order to have hope of any real change in policy. So far Governor Abbott has refused to call a special legislative session to deal with the litany of issues the Texas legislature failed to deal with during the last legislative session. These issues include eliminating property taxes, banning taxpayer-funded lobbying, prohibiting gender modification on children, and recent issues brought into the spotlight by the grassroots Texans relating to a demand of ‘anti-grooming’ legislation like that passed in Florida. So far it does not appear as though Abbott will be calling a special session to assist Texans, so taxpayers will simply have to wait and ride out the storm until next year.

Taxpayers Suffer As Superintendents Prosper

Last week the Texas Education Agency (TEA) released its most recent superintendent’s salary report to the public. The report includes some disturbing results and shows that the average superintendent makes considerably more than the average Texan.

The top ten highest-paid superintendents in the state all make above $340,000 annually. Compare that to the average Texan’s salary (around $57,000) and these self-proclaimed “public servants” are living like royalty. The reality is these superintendents contribute next to nothing toward the actual education of children within their school districts. The modern-day role of superintendents has primarily turned into a de facto lobbyist for teachers’ unions by consistently demanding the legislature allocate more taxpayer money for public education. This cat and mouse game has been going on for decades but most Texans don’t realize that most of their school administrators are living on ‘Easy Street’.

The numbers in the report do not even include the litany of other benefits many superintendents receive on the backs of taxpayers in their districts. Did you know that 22% of school districts provide a car allowance that covers all or part of their personal car expenses? The median car annual allowance is $6,000.  Other benefits include:

Erin Anderson of Texas Scorecard recently reported that there have been a number of abuses by superintendents with these lofty salaries and benefits packages.

For example, Grand Prairie’s superintendent was being paid “$405,000 (the second-highest superintendent salary in the state), plus tens of thousands more in perks like travel and housing allowances, and annual “retention supplements” as high as $150,000—five times the district’s median income of $30,000. Yet she was caught spending another $160,000 in taxpayer money on home remodeling expenses that were never approved by the board. She also failed to notice that her chief financial officer had embezzled $600,000 in cash from the district.”

Last year, Round Rock ISD board members hired Superintendent Hafedh Azaiez at a salary of $350,000—almost $50,000 more than the district’s previous superintendent. Despite this, he spent months on (paid) administrative leave while authorities investigated a scandal involving domestic assault allegations from Azaiez’s girlfriend.”

The governor of Texas, who runs the 9th largest economy in the world makes $153,000 a year, yet somehow Texans are supposed to believe that our superintendents (who are no more than glorified bureaucrats with higher education degrees) deserve salaries and benefits that would make neurosurgeons jealous. Texas teachers would be wise to take a look at their administrator’s bloated salaries before continuing to throw stones at lawmakers for not allocating inordinate amounts of capital to wasteful school districts.

The timing of this report could not be worse for Texas public educators, as many are currently embroiled in scandals and receiving pushback from parents for grooming children on sexual orientation and hiding it from them. Not to mention, after years of tyrannical masking policies during the COVID pandemic, school enrollment dropped for the first time in Texas history (over 2%). Simultaneously, the number of families homeschooling has tripled in Texas. 

Parents and homeowners are growing weary of rising property taxes that fund school districts, only to be slapped in the face by overpaid superintendents that seem hell-bent on pushing woke ideology on Texas children. It is past time we start rethinking public education funding starting with the elimination of school property taxes.

Texans Prepare to Protest Property Appraisals

If you are a Texas property ‘owner’ it is likely you have already received your property appraisal this week from your county’s appraisal district. Many Texans are reporting higher than expected appraisals, which almost assuredly translates to an increased property tax burden.

Though it is not entirely the reason, Texas has been the recipient of record population growth as many transplants flee states which have a less advantageous climate for future prosperity. With that increase in growth comes an increase in demand for residences, driving property values up.

For example, Williamson County, located just North of Travis County, and the bulk of the city of Austin had their appraisal district estimate that there would be a 40% increase in home valuations this year. Similarly, Hays County, located just Southwest of Austin also reported a 40% increase. Caldwell County, located South of Austin reported 50% higher valuations, and Bastrop County, located East of Austin, reported home valuations 60% higher.

Similar reports are coming in from all across the state, especially in major metropolitan areas.

In Texas, property taxes are the result of first having the value of property assessed through a county’s appraisal district. Property owners are then notified and many are given the option to protest.

The appraisal district is supposed to use a combination of data sets to ultimately determine the perceived value of a property given to them by various local jurisdictions which include the county itself, municipalities, school districts, and special-purpose districts.

By statute school districts are limited to increasing their taxes by only 2.5% without approval by voters, whereas other taxing districts are limited by 3.5%.

You do not have to merely rely on statutory limitations, however.

What Can You Do?

 If you are a property owner you can generally do three things to ease your property tax burden:

Protest Your Appraisal

As a taxpayer, it behooves you to protest your appraisals every year with your appraisal district. The appraisal paperwork you were sent should provide you with all of the details as to how and when to protest. The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) recently shared a ‘Best Practices’ primer with tips on what information to have available and how best to do so.

You have the ability to do things like request the evidence for your perceived appraisal and the right to protest said appraisal. Generally, they count on most property owners not protesting.

Homestead Exemption

If you have not already, ensure your primary residence has a homestead exemption. This exemption removes a portion of your home’s value from the tax calculation, thereby lowering the taxes owed. You can find out whether your residence qualifies here.

An exemption also qualifies property owners for what is considered the ‘homestead cap’, limiting the appraised value of your home to no greater than 10 percent per year.

Dialogue With Your Elected Officials

It should go without saying that one of the best ways to ensure your taxes stay reasonable is to engage your elected officials at both the local and state levels. Though it is state lawmakers who have the ability to reform how the property tax is collected it is ultimately local officials primarily making the decisions about the rates and what it is used for.

 Eliminate the Property Tax

At TFR, we believe the levying of the property tax is immoral and that it should ultimately be eliminated. There are several alternatives to the tax that could be administered in a more equitable manner but it could also be an option to eliminate and not replace the tax, whereby instead forcing the government to actually cut spending on frivolous things.

It has been reported that state lawmakers can expect nearly a $25 billion surplus next legislative session. TFR believes that the surplus should be returned to its rightful owners, you the taxpayer, in the form of tax relief.

Republicans have controlled every statewide office and the state legislature for nearly two decades. Despite this and promises to address the ever-increasing property tax burden, they have merely continued to allow the budget to grow and instead provide trinkets of ‘property tax relief’ by ‘slowing the rate by which it grows’. Taxpayers should demand better.

May Property Tax Propositions: A Slap In Texans’ Faces

Taxpayers all over the state of Texas report being crushed under the weight of sky-high property taxes, rising appraisals, and nearly double-digit inflation. You would not know this however if you only listened to lawmakers in Austin who drone on about the ‘historic property tax relief’ they passed that does not really provide significant relief to anyone.

The latest victory being trumpeted from Austin are the two property tax propositions they passed as a result of first watering down actual property tax relief in 3rd called special session last Fall. These propositions will be on the May 7th ballot. The language of the two propositions is as follows:

Proposition 1

The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for the reduction of the amount of a limitation on the total amount of ad valorem taxes that may be imposed for general elementary and secondary public school purposes on the residence homestead of a person who is elderly or disabled to reflect any statutory reduction from the preceding tax year in the maximum compressed rate of the maintenance and operations taxes imposed for those purposes of the homestead.

Proposition 2

The constitutional amendment increasing the amount of the residence homestead exemption from ad valorem taxation for public school purposes from $25,000 to $40,0000.


So, in summary, we have yet another carve-out that will inevitably raise taxes on the rest of Texans who do not qualify for it, and a whopping 15k increase in the homestead exemption.

State Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), the author of the legislation, had this to say on Twitter:

This “historic property tax relief” results in roughly $100 in savings this year for only those aged over 65 or disabled veterans, and a similar amount ($100-$200) for the average Texan’s home with the increase in homestead exemptions. Ultimately, its a paltry gift when you consider rising real estate prices causing higher property taxes altogether and near-historic inflation causing the rise in costs to things like homeowners insurance. It does not even begin to make a dent in the overall tax burden most Texans are experiencing this year.

What is worse is that Texans could have had much more significant property tax relief and have been put on a path to the complete elimination of school property taxes had the legislature passed State Rep. Tom Oliverson’s (R-Cypress) landmark property tax legislation from the 2nd or 3rd special legislative session. Oliverson’s bill would have used the $8 billion surplus to ‘pay down’ on school Maintenance & Operation (M&O) compression rates resulting in much more significant savings for homeowners. TFR was very vocal about our support of this legislation, which stipulated buydowns must continue until compression rates were at 0.  This would have tied the hands of lawmakers in Austin and forced Texas on a path toward property tax elimination.

This was possible mainly due to the passage of other legislation authored by State Sen. Kelly Hancock (R- N. Richland Hills), which capped the growth of our state budget to that of the growth of population and inflation (a metric that many fiscal organizations have used to determine whether the budget was ‘conservative’). The budget outlook has improved even more since then, as reports have indicated that the surplus will be closer to $12.5 billion when reviewed in the Fall by the Texas Comptroller.

When this surplus is added to the “Rainy Day Fund” (A savings fund mainly used as a slush fund) this will likely result in close to a $25 billion dollar surplus. The Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, Matt Rinaldi, made this a point on Twitter:

Within one year after passing the spending cap legislation, Texas is already in a position to completely eliminate property taxes within years, not decades, assuming the legislature decides to give this money back to its rightful owners, you the taxpayer. This can easily be done in the form of property tax relief by paying down compression rates, passing legislation similar to Oliverson’s from the 3rd special session. This could prove to be difficult, however, as the Austin lobby and establishment have already begun salivating over how they will waste this surplus elsewhere.

It is possible the money will be appropriated on wasteful programs unless taxpayers demand that their lawmakers pass legislation similar to House Bill 90. Surpluses will likely continue into perpetuity and if lawmakers will commit to actually cutting wasteful programs like the Texas Enterprise Fund (and other forms of corporate welfare), taxpayers could actually realize real property tax relief for the first time in Texas history.

It is expected that both of these propositions will pass handily on May 7th, but do not be duped by the self-promoting lawmakers that have chosen to toss us trinkets as opposed to real property tax relief.

Texas Senate Interim Charges Released – Includes Some Priorities, Lacks Others

Monday, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R), released his list of interim charges to all Senate committees.

Every legislative cycle, the leaders of each respective legislative chamber issue interim charges for each committee to study in preparation for the next legislative session. Every lawmaker has the ability to request specific charges to be included on the list, but in the Texas Senate, it is ultimately the Lieutenant Governor who makes the final decision on which charges or priorities will be studied. Here are some highlights from the Senate list:

Areas of Interest/Concern:

 Committee on Border Security

 Committee on Business and Commerce 

Committee on Education


Committee on Finance



Committee on Local Government



Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development 

Committee on State Affairs



Not Mentioned:

After reviewing the list of charges, it is apparent that it is a mixed bag. The list included many major conservative legislative priorities but there are still some that are left out completely. Here are major policy issues that are both legislative priorities of activists and poll extremely high with conservatives that Republican leadership in the Texas Senate appear to be ignoring:

 Vaccine Passports 


Gender Modification 

What Does it All Mean? 

Ultimately, this is nothing more than a public-facing list of priorities by leadership in the Senate, but it does give the everyday Texan a peek into what topics or issues will be focused on. Historically the list has not been exhaustive and almost undoubtedly other policy issues will be the subject of much deliberation.

It is apparent however that both the Senate and House of Representatives have different priorities in many policy areas, and what’s more, is that many of the issues important to activists in the majority political party are at least for now being ignored.

The good news is that this gives grassroots activists a headstart in attempting to force the hand of elected officials to prioritize and pass legislation prioritized by them. The first step is making sure your voices are heard in the party convention processes. If interested, check out our series on how you can help as we inch closer to the conventions this summer.


House Interim Charges