As the first special session concluded officially on Tuesday, the Texas property tax relief ended without a resolution.

Texas Statehouse (Source: Corsicana Daily Sun)

Addressing Properly the Property Tax

Property tax reform failed after the Senate dug in its heels to extract further savings from homeowners, they claimed, as a result of the additional 30 days of infighting between the state’s top officials that was an overflow from the regular session. Only the governor may convene special sessions, which may last up to 30 days according to news reports from

The House and Senate initially disagreed on assessment caps, which were supported by the House but opposed by the Senate. The Senate is in support of homestead exemptions instead. To incorporate school rate compressions, both concur.

Abbott promptly convened a special session to address property taxes and border security after neither party was able to reach an agreement before the end of the regular session. Abbott called for a special session and stated that he wanted a bill that exclusively contained rate compressions, which is consistent with his objective of eventually getting rid of the school maintenance and operations tax, which makes up the majority of a person’s property tax bill.

The House passed a bill that merely contained compression just hours after calling for the special session. Senate leaders argued that this was insufficient and declared their intention to use some of the $17.6 billion in budgeted property tax relief monies for homestead exemptions.

Patrick declared in the first few days of June, “I won’t back down from (exemptions).” “I might be the final man standing, but I’ll be the final man.” In this state, homeowners are due substantial property tax reductions.

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Options for Property Taxes were Laid to Senate

Nevertheless, the House quickly declared Sine Die, halting its participation in the special session and stating that it could not reconvene to discuss any additional bills. The Senate continues to offer various choices for property taxes, the most recent of which was published last week.

The Senate unanimously approved that version, which featured homestead exemptions, compression rates, and a reduction in franchise tax obligations for businesses. To further reduce tax rates, it also tightened revenue caps for school districts.

The alternative was “as win-win-win as you can get,” according to state senator Paul Bettencourt, a Republican from Houston and the chamber’s leader on property taxes.

However, the House chose not to consider it and instead took independent action to form a select committee on long-term property tax relief. The group, according to Phelan, represents a proactive move “toward tackling what comes next.”

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