During his tenure, Governor Greg Abbott has reduced property taxes by over $18 billion and has signed significant property tax reforms. These reforms include mandating a vote if taxing districts seek to increase property tax revenue by more than 3.5%. However, there remains work to be done. The Governor pledges to deliver a Taxpayer Bill of Rights to reel in increasing property taxes and empower home and property owners across Texas.
The details on the website state the following items in the proposal:
REDUCE SCHOOL PROPERTY TAX RATES
Reduce the school district property tax rates across the state every year. Since 2015, the state has spent over $18 billion on reducing property taxes. Under Governor Abbott’s plan, the state will deliver real, lasting, and ongoing school district property tax rate reduction each year going forward by prioritizing state funds to continue to drive down school district tax rates.
EMPOWER HOMEOWNERS AND PROPERTY OWNERS TO REDUCE THEIR TAXES
Offer taxpayers a discount for paying their property taxes in full early or allow the payments to be split either quarterly or semiannually without penalty. Local governments may offer a discount to property taxpayers who pay their taxes in full prior to the January 31 deadline, but few have adopted this optional discount. Under Governor Abbott’s plan, the discount would be mandatory, providing a reduction of up to 3% to homeowners who pay their property taxes in full before the January 31 deadline. In addition, under Governor Abbott’s plan, all Texans could pay their property taxes in quarterly or semiannual installments, without interest or penalty. These two proposals make it less expensive for those who pay in full early or choose a regular payment plan.
Give new homeowners an automatic reduction in the taxable value of their property if the purchase price of their home is lower than the value of the tax rolls. Provide real appraisal reform to make the system more transparent and taxpayer friendly. Homeowners will have their rights restored in the property tax protest process and stop the appraisers from endlessly dragging out property tax disputes.
Provide real appraisal reform to make the system more transparent and taxpayer friendly. Homeowners will have their rights restored in the property tax protest process and stop the appraisers from endlessly dragging out property tax disputes. Under Governor Abbott’s plan, the method used to appraise properties will be fully transparent to the homeowner, which will work to keep all Texans’ appraisals uniform, transparent, and fair. This gives the taxpayer vital information, making it easier than ever before to protest your appraisal.
Provide a property tax exemption on small business equipment. There are approximately three million small businesses in Texas, and they all pay property taxes on both their real property and their business personal property, like equipment. Under Governor Abbott’s plan, small businesses would receive a property tax exemption on up to $100,000 of their business personal property.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT DEBT
Require local government debt be passed by a two-thirds supermajority of the local governing body, and local bond issues not included on the November ballot to pass by a two-thirds supermajority of voters. Local governments often issue debt, which is generally paid for with property taxes. The debt is either fully approved by the local governmental body or is sent to the voters for their ratification or disapproval. Some local governments choose to put these bond measures on ballots in May, when voter turnout is lower than it is in November—meaning fewer voters are deciding on whether to increase debt. Under Governor Abbott’s plan, all debt would require approval of a two-thirds supermajority of the local governing body. In addition, if the debt requires voter approval, the approval would require a two-thirds supermajority of voters if it is not on the November ballot.