By Joshua Fechter, The Texas Tribune
“Texas voters to decide constitutional amendments aimed at slowing property tax growth” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
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As Texas’ red-hot housing market pushes home prices sky high, Texas voters will head to the polls Saturday to vote on a pair of propositions intended to slow down the growth in their property tax bills.
One measure — dubbed Proposition 1 — would cut school district property taxes for homeowners who are disabled or 65 years and older.
The other measure, Proposition 2, would boost the state’s homestead exemption — the portion of a home’s value that can’t be taxed — from $25,000 to $40,000 for school district property taxes.
For the owner of an average Texas home, worth about $300,000, that translates to about $176 in savings on their annual property tax bill, according to Republican state Sen. Paul Bettencourt of Houston, the proposal’s author.
If passed, the measures would reduce property tax revenue for Texas schools by about $2.3 billion through 2026. The state would then replace the lost revenue for schools. Some of those funds would come out of state surplus dollars to cover the first year the cut is in effect, Bettencourt said. But it’s not clear how the state would pay for the tax cut beyond that.
Texas homeowners pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation, a byproduct of how heavily the state relies on property taxes to pay for public schools and the state’s lack of an income tax. Cutting property taxes, meanwhile, has long been a pet issue for Texas Republicans. Proposition 2, in particular, came about as a result of a last-minute dash by Republicans in the state Legislature to put forth some kind of property tax cut in the waning days of the last session in 2021.
Polls close at 7 p.m. Saturday. Check back here for results.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2022/05/07/texas-property-tax-constitutional-amendments-proposition/.
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