As state lawmakers prepare for the 2023 legislative session in the coming weeks, Texas taxpayers have multiple opportunities to address state lawmakers on issues like their ever-increasing property tax burdens.
Texas Senate Local Government Committee
The Texas Senate Local Government Committee has scheduled interim public hearings for Tuesday, September 13, and Wednesday, September 14, to consider several of the interim charges issued by Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.
Among the charges to be discussed and available for public input are those related to the implementation of Senate Bill 2, or the Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act of 2019; property tax appraisal reform; efficiency audits for local governments; and taxpayer-funded lobbying.
The issues of eliminating property tax and banning taxpayer-funded lobbying are also addressed in Texans for Fiscal Responsibility’s Texas Prosperity Plan.
Property Taxes in the Upcoming 88th Legislative Session
The Texas Legislature is set to convene in January of 2023 for the next regular legislative session.
In early August, Texas Governor Greg Abbott forecasted the “biggest property tax cut in the history of the State of Texas,” but he stopped short of providing specifics when discussing his plans for the upcoming legislative session.
A few weeks earlier, upon news from the Texas comptroller of an even larger projected $27 billion budget surplus, Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick released a statement indicating he supported using a paltry $4 billion for the purposes of property tax relief.
Despite promises of tax relief from elected officials at both state and local levels, the property tax burden continues to grow for Texas taxpayers. The current “slow the growth” strategy has done little to nothing to curb the exponential growth, and though the potential effects of recent reform legislation will truly come into the fold this next cycle, taxpayers are reeling from an ever-growing burden, while also dealing with record inflation and an increasing cost of everyday goods and services.
Efforts to Ban Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying Have Failed in the Past
Despite the issue being a legislative priority of the Republican Party of Texas in recent legislative cycles, and despite the state Legislature being controlled by a majority of Republican state lawmakers, efforts to ban the practice of taxpayer-funded lobbying have been unsuccessful.
This cycle, the Texas GOP has once again included support for the ban in its platform, but it is unclear whether enough support exists in the state Legislature to make the effort successful. Notably, Abbott had been supportive of efforts to ban the practice in the past, but he has been silent on the issue in recent years.
Opportunities in the Texas House of Representatives
We previously reported on upcoming opportunities for taxpayers to discuss similar issues in the Texas House of Representatives.
The House Ways and Means Committee will convene on Thursday, September 8, to consider interim charges related to property taxes, appraisal reforms, and corporate welfare.
What is Next?
Much of the work in preparation for the next legislative session is taking place right now. Concerned taxpayers may contact their state lawmakers.
Texans for Fiscal Responsibility (TFR) has long held that Texas does not have a revenue problem; it has a spending problem. To help address many of the economic challenges facing the state, TFR recently released the Texas Prosperity Plan.
We invite you to read the Texas Prosperity Plan for yourself and voice your support for banning taxpayer-funded lobbying, eliminating the property tax, and freezing state spending by signing up to support the TPP. While you are there, sign up for The Fiscal Note to stay up to date on all fiscal issues that affect Texans, especially our broken property tax system. We CAN put Texas on a path to fiscal sanity and future prosperity if we amplify our voices loudly enough.