Senate Finance met on June 28 to hear SJR 1 and SB 1 (Bettencourt) relating to property tax relief. Both were voted out unanimously to the Senate floor.


This report is intended to give you an overview and highlight 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.


SJR 1 (Bettencourt) Proposing a constitutional amendment to increase the amount of the exemption from ad valorem taxation by a school district applicable to residence homesteads, to adjust the amount of the limitation on school district ad valorem taxes imposed on the residence homesteads of the elderly or disabled to reflect increases in certain exemption amounts, and to except certain appropriations to pay for school district ad valorem tax relief from the constitutional limitation on the rate of growth of appropriations

  • Bettencourt – Increases homestead exemption to $100k; retroactively applied
  • Includes correction for previous May homestead exemption and has a go-forward provision for any future exemptions
  • Part of the $18b property tax package


SB 1 (Bettencourt) Relating to providing property tax relief through the public school finance system, exemptions, and limitations on taxes and providing franchise tax relief

  • Bettencourt – Enabling legislation; $0.10 of additional compression, homestead exemption, doubling franchise tax provision, removed requirement to file no tax due franchise tax returns
  • Only change is preventing the cancellation of local optional homestead exemptions; notes Pasadena ISD recently cancelled theirs
  • Huffman – Cancelling local optional homestead exemptions; explain why it is not beneficial
    • Bad public policy to take away optional and then wait for state to come back and pay
  • Huffman – Everything we are doing will be paid by the state; no burden passed on to the school
    • Do not want local school districts to tax their people more and get less savings
  • Huffman – What percentage goes to compression in this bill?
    • 71% to compression and 29% to homestead; win for school districts as well as they will get more money
  • West – Why can we not get something done if 71% is going to compression?
    • Is a good question; the Senate will pass this bill and is supported by Lt. Governor and members
  • West – Any school districts calling you and are against this proposal?
    • No, have gotten praise
  • Whitmire – Why would anyone be opposed to this?
    • Do not know; was unanimously approved at one time in the House, hope it is again
  • Perry – Removal of optional homestead exemption in this bill?
    • Puts a four-year moratorium retroactively; do not want that behavior to replicate
  • Perry – For a school district to intentionally go against the state is unconscionable; need to remind voters they can remove those irresponsible board members
  • Perry – Everyone wins under this bill; including districts that need to give buy down debt, to sit on a pay as you go, etc.
  • Perry – It is not the state that raises property taxes; goal is to slow the growth of tax bills
  • Nichols – Appraisal districts will presume amendments will go on the bill? Not in the other chamber’s proposal
    • Is in there
  • Hinojosa – Constituents do not care about compression, care about homestead exemption; are focusing on middle class working families
    • Agree


SB 1 passed out of committee to the Senate floor (14-0)

SJR 1 passed out of committee to the Senate floor (14-0)