Houston, TX – Senate Bill 2, Authored by Senator Bettencourt and Sponsored by Rep Dustin Burrows (RLubbock) passed in the last legislative session on a bipartisan vote, gives voters a direct say over their property
tax bills in Texas. The bill lowered the rollback rate from 8% to 3.5% for Cities and Counties and requires an automatic November election to exceed this limit. Prior to the law taking effect in 2020 however, many taxing entities have decided to tax to the max on property taxes and increase revenue as much as possible.
“I never thought I’d see so many Cities and Counties rushing to tax to the max their taxpayers and even using the excuse of they need more money to vote themselves a pay raise!” said Senator Bettencourt.
“Raising the property tax rate on top of such strong appraisal role increases around the State is like throwing gasoline on a fire.”
In some cases, such as in El Paso, taxpayers will see property tax relief provided by the Texas Legislature as part of HB3 entirely negated by a combined 10+ penny property tax increase by El Paso County and the City of El Paso. Harris County and Travis County are opting to raise their property tax rate to the maximum rollback allowed. Tarrant County is right behind them at only 62/10,000 point below the rollback rate. “I think a lot of
cities and counties know that we are putting them on a diet and they are going on one last bender before it happens,” said State Rep. Dustin Burrows, (R-Lubbock)
Senator Bettencourt continued, “Some taxing units like the cities of Houston and Plano, as well as Collin, Lubbock, Montgomery and Galveston County, are doing it right and adopting the effective tax rate instead of increasing their property tax rate.” He concluded, “Unfortunately, certain taxing entities are opting to enact a ‘maximum smash’ on their taxpayers one last time before SB2 takes effect in 2020.”
Chairs Bettencourt and Burrows discussed this and more on SB2 in front of a live audience at TribFest 2019.