For years, the desire for property tax relief has been at the top of Texans’ concerns.
As a matter of fact, in a recent poll conducted by our friends at Texas Public Policy Foundation, it was revealed that 71% of registered voters would not be happy if nothing is done on property taxes. It is an issue that has been largely ignored and side-stepped by the legislature despite the loud outcry from citizens on both sides of the aisle. The special session has given the Texas legislature to finally provide relief on the ever-increasing tax burdens placed on Texas homeowners.
When TFR found out a special session had been called by Greg Abbott, we encouraged subscribers to call and engage his office to place property tax relief on the special session agenda items list. In a major win for grassroots fiscal conservatives, Abbott conceded to the pressure and he placed property tax relief on his agenda items for the special session.
In a recent KVUE interview regarding the Democrat walkout, Abbott addressed his call for property tax relief. When asked how he would get Democrats back to Texas to vote on election integrity reform, he responded by naming other bipartisan issues important to constituents. “I know for a fact that your viewers right now, they care a whole lot about, such as property taxes. Property taxes are sky-high in the Austin area and we have a bill to reduce those property taxes.”
From this interview, we know there is a bill in the works, but that has not been revealed as of yet. TFR sees this special session as a very unique opportunity to provide relief through the use of surplus funds to pay down property taxes. Let me explain.
In a recent report released by the comptroller, it was revealed that Texas is expecting a $7.85 billion surplus for the 2022-2023 biennium.
This surplus is the perfect unexpected event that can be used to pay down property taxes and provide significant, immediate relief to overburdened Texans. TFR estimates this would result in a 10% decrease for homeowners (5% for each year in the biennium). Even better news is this should be a frequent reoccurrence in future Texas budgets because of the recently passed spending limit passed during the 87th legislative session.
This reoccurring and increasing surplus could be used repeatedly to pay down property taxes until their eventual elimination. We finally have a legitimate path to the elimination of property taxes, without tax swapping, or increasing sales taxes. TFR encourages all taxpayers to demand that the governor dedicate this money directly to property tax relief and keep his promises to Texans.
There is one thing that is for sure: the special interests and lobbyists are chomping at the bit to get Abbott to dedicate that revenue to their pet projects and to subsidize their clients’ businesses. The question is will the voice of the grassroots be loud enough to be heard over Austin’s special interests?