As state lawmakers prepare for the 2023 legislative session in the coming weeks, Texas taxpayers have an opportunity to address them on issues like their ever-increasing property tax burdens.
Texas House Ways & Means Committee
The Texas House Ways & Means Committee, or the committee primarily charged with the jurisdiction of raising state revenue and levying taxes, has scheduled an interim public hearing for Thursday, September 8 to consider two of their interim charges, as issued by Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan.
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; the Texas Property Tax Appraisal System; and the expiring Chapter 313 tax abatement corporate welfare program. On multiple occasions, Phelan himself has expressed interest in reviving the Chapter 313 program under the guise of economic development.
Texas taxpayers and the public at large may testify in person at the Texas Capitol or electronically submit their comments ahead of the scheduled hearing.
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.
Republicans have controlled every statewide elected office and the majority in the state Legislature for nearly two decades. Their own party platform explicitly calls for the elimination of the property tax and opposition to reintroducing school property tax abatements, formerly known as Chapter 313. Will they abide?
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 be coming into the fold this next cycle, taxpayers are reeling right now from an ever-growing burden, while also dealing with record inflation and an increasing cost of everyday goods and services.
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.