AUSTIN, TX. – If you ask anyone in Austin, or the surrounding area if property tax reform is needed they will give you an immediate yes.
Thankfully, Governor Abbott is listening to the people and he indicated on Monday that he’s going to call a special session to deal with the major problem of rising property taxes across the state of Texas.
A Problem That Needs To Be Solved
It’s not just homeowners in Austin that have been dealing with rising property taxes, the entire state has been affected and many owners are being priced out of their homes because they cannot afford to pay the high property taxes.
“It’s complex but it needs to be addressed and that is the incredible rise in property taxes in this state. I can feel the groans,” Abbott said. “People are being priced out of their homes. It turns out you’re not owning your own property and there needs to be a solution. But it seems like at least a starting place, and maybe the best way to solve it, is to for those who pay the property taxes, let them have a say on what those property taxes will be. Give them a vote on their own property taxes.”
Under existing law, local governments may raise effective tax rates up to 8 percent without residents being able to petition for a rollback election. The “effective rate” refers to the rate needed for the governing unit to raise the same total amount of taxes from the same local properties as the unit garnered the year before.
Senate Bill 2 by Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, would have required cities and counties to get voter approval for tax increases of 5 percent or more.
SB 2 cleared the Senate but was never brought to a vote in the House, which instead passed a watered-down property tax measure that dealt only with increasing transparency on the appraisal and rate-setting process.
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