A combination of legislative bills, public votes on propositions, and tax rate votes by taxing jurisdictions are responsible for a surprise gift of lower Property Tax Homesteads in mailboxes this year.
Houston – On Tuesday, December 20th, Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) hosted a press conference at the Texas Senate District 7 Office in Houston, Texas to explain the astonishing news that many Texas homeowners are finding lower homestead property tax bills this year, despite record rising appraisal values. During the press conference Senator Bettencourt called the news that homestead taxpayers in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio have lower property tax bills on average, “astonishing!”
“As appraisal values continue to climb steeply across the state there’s surprising, good news! Property Tax Bills for homeowners in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio are down and I’m not just talking about their ISD school taxes, it’s the entire tax bill,” said Senator Bettencourt. “It takes more than the legislature, it takes the public voting for propositions 1 and 2, which increased the Homestead exemption and will cut tax bills for Texans over 65, and most importantly it takes local elected officials to cast courageous votes for property tax relief for taxpayers.”
Senate Bill 2, which lowered the voter-approval rate and provided taxpayers a greater say in their city and county tax rates and House Bill 3, which addressed school finance reform and tax relief are working to compress tax rates as appraisal values rise. According to Texas Taxpayers and Research Association (TTARA) estimates, the combined effects of SB 2 and HB 3 are saving taxpayers more than $8.2 billion this year and have saved Texas taxpayers more than more than $20 Billion since their passing. “For years we said help was on the way and today we can say help is here to stay!” said incoming State Representative Charles Cunningham.
“This is a high point for me to be able to return people’s money to their pocket,” said Houston Council Member Mike Knox. This year in Harris County, taxpayers are expected to save $256 million on their county tax bills alone, and more than $750 million across all taxing units’ tax bills. These savings are directly attributable to the effects of property tax legislation passed in recent sessions, and local officials standing up for property taxpayers. Houston ISD Trustee Bridget Wade said, “We look forward to what the State’s doing to continue bringing relief to Texas Taxpayers.”
“Being able to lower the tax bill to homeowners with record appraisal value increases, that’s astonishing…it’s just what the doctor ordered, Merry Christmas, Harris County,” remarked Commissioner Tom Ramsey (R- Harris County, PCT 3).