AUSTIN – The Senate Finance Committee passed Senate Bill 2 by Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) on a 9-5 vote in favor of regular Texas home and business owners over substantial governmental opposition. Texans traveled from around the state to address committee members tonight and encourage their support of SB 2, the Property Tax Reform and Relief Act.

“Thank you to Texas taxpayers that drove in on their own nickel to testify on the importance of SB 2,” Senator Bettencourt said.“I have never been prouder of regular Texans coming to the Capitol to speak up for all those who couldn’t come tonight. Some officials are brave enough to speak out for SB 2, but regular citizens are speaking for property tax reform and relief!” he added.

Busting the property tax myths that pro-tax groups often repeated this evening, home and business owners stayed late into the night to testify about being priced out of their homes. One Collin County taxpayer stated, “I have not gotten a raise in five years, but everyone getting property taxes has.” An indignant senior citizen addressed local officials who argued that his tax savings would amount to little more than a “latte,” saying, “That is my latte, not the government’s!”

Testimony given by the Libre Initiative noted that property taxes are putting the dream of homeownership out of reach. Another taxpayer who faced skyrocketing property tax increases provided another perspective, stating, “I didn’t get 29 percent more services, and that is $1,846 I cannot use to sponsor a child in Uganda with my own money anymore!”

Texas taxpayers also soundly rejected local officials’ continued claims that SB 2 will hamper their ability to meet obligations and provide services. One resident stated, “I reject that we cannot run on a city of 9 percent or more a year growth.” A McKinney resident highlighted taxing entities’ inability to prioritize, stating, “Local government blows money on football and baseball stadiums, then jack up property tax rates.” Another taxpayer said, “It is time for we the people to assert our authority and control the rate of increase in property tax bills.” Senator Van Taylor (R-Plano) chartered bus transportation to and from Plano for residents who wanted to submit testimony in the hearing.

“SB 2’s rollback rate reduction and automatic election empowers voters and will help slow the growth of future property tax bill increases,” Senator Bettencourt said. “I want to thank Chair Jane Nelson and the other members of the Senate Finance Committee who voted at the stroke of midnight for this major step forward for Texas taxpayers. Voters will have a say in tax rate elections, and that’s the ultimate in local control,” he added.