In a recent report released by TPPF, Vance Ginn and James Quintero laid out a proposal for property tax relief that echoes both the grassroots and TFR’s plan last week. They are calling for the legislature to buy down M&O property taxes with the recent budget surplus of $7.85 billion.
“Under this buydown approach, every tax dollar not spent by the state will produce a property tax cut for Texans. Following our plan would let the Texas Legislature keep its pledge to taxpayers by actually lowering property tax bills—something missing in most other plans.”
TPPF calls for the legislature to keep its promise to Texans and actually lower tax bills, not pass do-nothing legislation that doesn’t provide any relief.
HB 122 is the closest bill that has been filed to accomplish the maximum amount of property tax relief for taxpayers in the special session. The bill calls to use 90% of surplus dollars to buy down M & O property taxes resulting in almost 10% savings for most Texans. TFR suggests the most effective approach would be to dedicate 100% of every future budget surplus in combination with cuts to future budgets to eventually eliminate school property taxes completely.
This plan couldn’t come at a more crucial time as Texans are becoming aware that property taxes are continuing to rise. Indeed, Texas property taxes have risen 181% in the last 20 years–a move that outpaces other states.
Texans already had sky-high property taxes that were the 7th in the nation last year. Now, new numbers show that Texas taxpayers’ have the 6th highest property tax burden.
That’s a trend in the wrong direction despite Republicans promising to cut their property taxes and controlling every statewide office in Texas for over 20 years.
One thing is certain, the need for property tax reform has never been more apparent. The legislature has a golden opportunity to come through on their promise of relief and plenty of time to accomplish it. (Who knows how long the Democrats will give them?) Now is the time for property tax relief, all taxpayers that want lower bills should be focused on letting their lawmakers know this.