House Ways & Means met on August 23 to consider the following property tax bills: SB 8 (Bettencourt | et al.). SB 12 (Bettencourt | et al.), and SJR 2 (Bettencourt | et al.). All three bills were voted out unanimously at the end of the hearing.
This report is intended to give you an overview and highlight of the discussions on the various topics taken up. It is not a verbatim transcript of the discussions but is based upon what was audible or understandable to the observer and the desire to get details out as quickly as possible with few errors or omissions.
SB 8 (Bettencourt | et al.) Relating to the authority of a person who acquires a residence homestead to receive an ad valorem tax exemption for the homestead in the year in which the property is acquired and to the protection of school districts against the resulting loss in revenue
- Meyer – Allows residence homestead exemption in the first year of ownership
- Provides a refund for property owners who have already paid for this
- Prorates existing homestead exemptions
- Shine – In Section 4, could we change to doing calculations at the beginning of the year
- Meyer – Can look at that
Charles Reed, Assistant County Admin Dallas County Commissioners Court – On
- Would be supportive if the proposal by Shine would be added
- Software currently cannot handle calculations, would require a lot of staff time to manually count
- Would be supportive if this applied it all the way back to January 1
- Shine – What cost would this be to the taxing entity?
- In Dallas County it would be 3 to 4 additional FTEs, or the county would eat the revenue at the back end
- Shine – Would cost more if you did this mid-year rather than going back to January 1?
- Shine – Is probably a negligible cost for fast growth counties?
- Correct; flipping companies, selling owner-to-owner, and applies to new builds
- Shine – What would the cost be?
- 3 to 4 FTEs would be around $300,000 to $400,000
Rod Bordelon, Texas Public Policy Foundation – For
- Are more interested in broad base tax fairness, but this bill is a good step
- Are issues between the calculating the costs either the first of the year
- Prorating is fair so other taxpayers do not have to pay the burden
- However, is fine either way
Adam Haynes, Texas Conference of Urban Counties – Against
- Dallas county is a part of CUC
- Counties have said if calculations are done mid-year and manually, the cost is not worth the benefit
- Support the policy, if the calculations could be done at the beginning of the year, would support the bill
SB 8 left pending
SJR 2 (Bettencourt | et al.) Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for the reduction of the amount of a limitation on the total amount of ad valorem taxes that may be imposed for general elementary and secondary public school purposes on the residence homestead of a person who is elderly or disabled to reflect any statutory reduction from the preceding tax year in the maximum compressed rate of the maintenance and operations taxes imposed for those purposes on the homestead
- Meyer – Ongoing compression of school district property tax rates
- Reduces ceiling amounts for those who are elderly or disabled by HB 3 compression rates
- Would result in savings of $219 million in year one; $744 million in savings over the first three years
SJR 2 left pending
SB 12 (Bettencourt | et al.) Relating to the reduction of the amount of a limitation on the total amount of ad valorem taxes that may be imposed by a school district on the residence homestead of an individual who is elderly or disabled to reflect any reduction from the preceding tax year in the district’s maximum compressed rate and to the protection of school districts against the resulting loss in local revenue
- Meyer – Enabling legislation for SJR 2
- Would be effective January 1, 2023 if approved by voters
SB 12 left pending
SB 8 (6-0)
SJR 2 (6-0)
SB 12 (6-0)