April 18, 2019
Slower property tax increases may be coming our way in the state of Texas. The much debated Senate Bill 2 passed through the Senate yesterday after the only Republican senator opposing the bill, Amarillo Sen. Kel Seliger, stepped aside.
The Senate vote was a victory for Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who has been favoring this bill and has publicly been supporting it.
“Today is a historic day,” Lt. Gov. Patrick said after the vote was finalized. “We heard a lot of comments from the floor … from those in opposition who were concerned about cities and counties and their budgets. We’re concerned about the people’s budget — that’s what we’re concerned about.”
Senate Bill 2 passed with an overall tally of 18-12. The bill will now be debated in the Texas House a week from Wednesday. This bill has been one of the most hotly debated topics as local authorities have been in opposition to the bill, believing that it will deter their ability to fund the local government.
SB2, which was changed on the Senate floor Monday, caps property tax revenue growth for counties, cities and special taxing districts at 3.5% a year, up from 2.5% in the original version. School districts would stay capped at 2.5% a year; however, they are getting a boost of new funding under separate legislation this session.