Great strides have been made in the Finance Committee of the Texas Senate regarding helping Texans by proposing 4.6 billion dollars of tax relief.  Today, The Finance Committee Chairwoman Jane Nelson opened the floor for public testimony.  Citizens will be able to testify for three minutes in front of the Committee concerning the bills heard during the Finance hearings on Monday and Tuesday. Cards of support and written testimony will also  be accepted.  These bills provide tax relief for homeowners and businesses.  Below are some of the bills Senator Bettencourt thinks you would be interested in:

SB 1 by Chairwoman Nelson, Bettencourt, Birdwell, Burton, et al. Provides $2.5 billion in property tax relief by setting the homestead exemption to 25% of the state’s home median market value. In 2016, the median home market value is projected to be $134,500, resulting in an exemption of $33,625. In 2017, the projected value is $143,915, resulting in an exemption of $35,979. In future years, SB 1 provides that the exemption will rise or fall along with property values in the state.

 SB 7 by Chairwoman Nelson, Bettencourt, Birdwell, Burton, et al. Provides $1.5 billion in business tax relief by reducing the business franchise tax rate by 15%.

SB 8 by Schwertner, Bettencourt, Birdwell, Burton, et al. Provides over $380 million in annual tax relief, while exempting over 61,000 small businesses that would otherwise pay the state’s business franchise tax.  These small businesses represent over 52% of all entities required to remit payment under the current franchise tax structure.

SB 516 by Bettencourt, Birdwell, Campbell, Creighton, Eltife, Hall, Kolkhorst, Nichols, et al. Increases the time, from 175 to 365 days, that “Freeport” property may remain in the state before being subject to property tax.  Provides property tax relief to many local businesses and will encourage more out-of-state business to relocate to Texas.

SB 758 by Bettencourt  Exempts from property tax business personal property that is used in manufacturing if that property is also exempt from sales tax.  Also provides property tax relief to many local businesses and will encourage more out-of-state business to relocate to Texas.

SB 762 by Bettencourt, Hall, Huffines, Kolkhorst, and Van Taylor. Increases the amount of business tangible personal property that is exempt from property tax appraisal and assessment from $500 to $2,500. Saves taxpayers and CADs/tax assessors money because the cost of appraising and assessing tax on a business with tangible personal property worth less than $2,500 is actually greater than the property tax revenue generated on that property.

SB 763 by Bettencourt, Hall, Huffines, Kolkhorst, and Van Taylor. Increases the amount of business tangible personal property that is exempt from property tax appraisal and assessment to $50,000. Similar to SB 762, but does even more for small businesses.  Allows any business with $50,000 or less in business personal property to file a simplified filing form and qualify for a 100% property tax exemption.

SB 182 Note The Tax Rate Roll Back Bill: Senator Bettencourt asked for a revised Comptroller’s fiscal note and subsequently this bill was not heard by the committee this week, thus not open for public testimony.  This bill is the rollback tax rate bill that lowers tax rates as property values rise.  The original fiscal note stated that “the fiscal impact on other units of local government cannot be estimated.”, and it is imperative to have good numbers for any public policy debate. Importantly, the Comptroller’s office has now committed to providing a revised fiscal note establishing the impact on local government to Senator Bettencourt.

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