Texas Senate Greenlights $16.5B Plan to Reduce Property Taxes
Well, well, well, look who's making headlines in Texas today. The state senators unanimously approved Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's agenda on property tax cuts.
And guess what? According to this article, it's going to pump billions of state dollars into public schools, give bigger tax breaks for homeowners and business owners, and make everyone's life so much better.
State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, a Houston Republican and Patrick's point person on property taxes is just ecstatic about the whole thing. "This is off-the-charts, incredible property tax relief for millions of Texas homeowners," he gushed.
Using the surplus
Republican leaders had made it crystal clear before the session started that they wanted to use part of the state's historic surplus of nearly $33 billion to bring down property taxes. And boy, did Patrick deliver! His $16.5 billion package, contained in three separate priority bills, is the Senate's proposal on how to do it.
The most popular component among senators is Senate Bill 3, which proposes to raise the state's homestead exemption for school districts. It's carried by Bettencourt and would raise the amount of a home's value that can't be taxed from $40,000 to $70,000, with an additional $20,000 bump for seniors. This proposal is going to save a homeowner who pays the state's average school tax rate an additional $341 on their annual tax bill. And wait for it, it's going to save seniors another $227 each year. Woohoo! Who doesn't love free money?
Even the Democrats joined hands with the Republicans to pass all three bills. It's a "great testament to Republicans and Democrats working together for all of their constituents," Patrick said after all three bills passed. Ah, how heartwarming!
Read a more detailed analysis of this these bills here.