March 9, 2023
Breaking Down the Sweeping Changes in Texas’ New Property-Tax Relief Plan
On Monday March 13, the House Ways and Means Committee heard testimony both for and against the proposed measures in the new property tax legislature. The results were mixed, with some in favor, and some against the measures. Some of the testimonies against, were in favor of compressing tax rates, which would equitably reduce the property tax rate for all properties in the county.
The major changes are as follows:
- Reduce property appraisal caps from 10% to 5%
- Include ALL real property (commercial real estate as well as residential) under the cap
- Reduce the property tax rates through a “buy down” of rates via the surplus
- Appraisal caps remain in place until a deed transfer of a property
*Original article below*
Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan announced on Thursday that the House would pass a sweeping property-tax relief package that would involve tighter appraisal caps for all kinds of property, not just homes. House Bill 2, sponsored by Dallas Republican Representative Morgan Meyer, would reduce rates on schools’ main property levy and offer a $461 tax break next year for the owner of a $350,000 home, with $590 in fiscal 2025.
Lowering the property tax relief cap to 5% would be a significant change in current Texas policy. The amendment, voted on by the people of Texas in 1997, restricts appraisals for a homestead to 10% per year and limits commercial properties as well. House Joint Resolution 1, filed on Thursday by Meyer, would ask voters if they wanted to lower the appraisal-growth cap to 5%. However, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick stated that the Senate’s plans for property tax relief differed from that of the House. He noted that actions the legislature took four years ago already limited how much revenue taxing jurisdictions may derive from property taxes and that lowering appraisal caps now would destroy everything that had been achieved.
House Democratic Caucus Chairman, Trey Martinez Fischer, criticized the state of public schools in Texas by claiming that Republicans neglect the needs and favor corporations with their tax-relief plan. Dick Lavine of the Progressive Think Tank Every Texan said that a 10% appraised value cap favored those earning $166,508 or more annually. On Wednesday, the Texas Senate co-sponsored Senate Bill 3 and Senate Joint Resolution 3, which would raise homestead exemptions by $30,000, and chief appraiser Ken Nolan of the Dallas Central Appraisal District estimated that this would save almost all homes in the Dallas school district an additional $355 a year.