With the property tax law changes going into effect in 2019 for Texas, Harris County is attempting a double-digit property tax rate increase. During the latest Harris County Commissioner Court meeting, the Commissioners are proposing what would amount to over $200 million in new tax revenue. This comes on the heels of a seemingly never-ending “up” real estate market for Texas.

Senator Paull Bettencourt, one of the largest proponents of new SB2 or “Texas property tax reform” said of the proposed hike, “The key point is that such an onerous tax increase next year would require commissioners court to take it to the voters for ratification in November.” He continued to add that, “It is bad enough public policy that they can have a double-digit increase in 2019, but SB2 will stop these preposterous increases in 2020 and leave it up to the voters to decide in a November election, as opposed to the being ‘Taxed To The Max’ on a 3-2 vote.”

Under the new SB2 “property tax reform”, cities and counties can raise a rate up to 3.5% and the voter election is automatic

As we noted in a previous post, SB2 will effectively change the limit of how high a certain portion of the property tax rate can rise. Under the previous law, cities and counties could raise the rate up to 8% in a given year with voters needing to “trigger” the election. Now, cities and counties can raise a rate up to 3.5% and the voter election is automatic.

Because the commissioners are proposing a higher tax rate than the effective rate, the county must hold multiple public hearings to continue with the proposed measure. The hearings are scheduled for September 20, 1 PM and also during the commissioner’s court meetings on Sept. 24 and Oct. 9. After the last hearing date, the tax rate will be decided and adopted for the next tax year.