Senate Finance met on September 21 to consider SB 1 (Bettencourt | et al.). This bill would provide for roughly six cents of temporary property tax rate reduction in tax year 2022, SY 2022-2023. This bill is almost identical to SB 91 (Bettencourt) from the Second Called Special Session which passed the Senate 29-2, but ran out of time in the House. The bill author noted the main difference between the two bills is that SB 1’s effective date will not affect any school election in 2021.
- The author noted it will be a $2 billion buydown during the 2022-2023 school year and could result in an average savings of $330 for taxpayers
- Members discussed whether this should be made permanent and whether the final version of the bill should cap the cost
- In response, the bill author noted that there will be a new spending cap in 2023 and how this expenditure will not be a part of the cap
- Staff from the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) told members that the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding coming to the state will not impact the spending cap since the cap does not include federal funds
- The author noted the bill will not use ARPA funds, but will be funded by General Revenue
- Members discussed other bills that would bring reform to the property tax system including SB 63 (Nelson), HB 988 (Shine), and HB 1525 (Huberty); all from the 87th Regular Session
- Members discussed their concern about the I&S rate and the possibility of lowering the I&S hard limit from 50 to 45, or another number
- The bill author noted that similar language has been submitted to legislative council, but rather than working with the hard limit, it focuses on an overall prohibition on a per penny basis
- Committee members heard public testimony from two who were for the bill and one who was against the bill
CSSB 1 was voted out of committee (14-0) to the full Senate after the chair asked for an assurance from the author that an amendment would be added when the bill is brought to the floor that addresses the member’s discussions concerning I&S.