According to many, the year 2021 went by incredibly fast. It seems like, just yesterday, we were moving into the second year of the pandemic. Now, we find ourselves approaching the Holidays and wrapping up the fiscal year. Among the happenings of this final quarter is the adjournment in the last special session of the Texas Legislature. Homeowners will be happy to know that they managed to pass a pair of measures designed to provide property tax relief to Texans.
Texas Senate Bill 1 and Senate Joint Resolution 2
Passed as part of the special session, Senate Bill 1 and Senate Joint Resolution 2 both combine to place a constitutional amendment on the May 2022 ballot. The measure will give Texans the choice regarding the decision to lower property taxes. Senate Joint Resolution 2 specifically increases the homestead exemption by 60%, moving from $25,000 to $40,000. The amendments also ensure that school districts will not be harmed by the property tax cut, as the money will come directly from the state.
How does this measure affect 2021 Taxes?
As the measure has been approved by both sides of the Legislature, this amendment is still considered preliminary. Currently, this measure will not affect 2021 property taxes as it is still scheduled to be put to a public vote during the May 2022 election. If approved by voters, the amendment will be added to the Texas Constitution.
What types of Homestead Exemptions are available in Texas?
- School Taxes
- County Taxes
- Age 65 or older & disabled exemptions
- Optional percentage exemptions
- Optional 65 or older disabled exemptions
How do I qualify for a Homestead Exemption?
Speak to any of our agents for additional information.
Other Legislature Actions
In addition to the property tax adjustment, the legislators also completed several other actions during the final session of 2021:
Because the Texas population grew significantly over the last ten years, the redistricting process required substantial adjustments. In order to reflect population growth/decline and additional changes within the economy, district boundaries are redrawn every ten years in order to ensure equal voter representation. Each state Senate district was increased so that it represents 940,178 residents. As a result, several borders were redrawn, meaning that many areas will change districts beginning with the next elections. Visit the Texas Districts map website or the Texas Comptroller site for more information about the changing boundaries. Contact one of our agents today to see how this can affect your Oil & Gas and Commercial Real Estate properties during the 2022 tax year.
Dependents of Fallen First Responders
House Bill 133 was also passed recently by both chambers. Called the Caleb Rule Act, it extends provisions for higher education tuition benefits to college-aged dependents of fallen first responders. Previous legislation established such benefits only for dependents under 18 at the time of death. The Act now moves to the Governor’s Office.
Higher Education Capital Projects
Governor Abbott previously included investments in education to the purpose of the special legislative session. As a result, the chambers were able to negotiate a proposal to assemble more than $3 billion in capital projects for institutions throughout the state. As part of the program, $325 million from the American Rescue Plan will be used toward these educational investments.