HLF Session Review: The Texas Budget
“Can a budget that increases spending by 44% really be called “Republican”?”
DALLAS, TX, June 17, 2023 — The Texas Legislature’s budget is the biggest increase in government spending in modern Texas history, supported and written by almost every Democrat in Austin.
Can a budget that increases spending by 44% really be called “Republican”?
Meanwhile, there was ZERO property tax relief for Texans in the 88th session. The current divide over property taxes is, in many ways, unnecessary. Conflicts over homestead exemptions, corporate tax abatements, and the property appraisal system would disappear if property taxes were eliminated.
The first step in eliminating ALL property taxes is to eliminate school property taxes.
If Texas leaders are going to get serious about eliminating our school maintenance and operations property tax (M&O), Governor Abbott must VETO the bloated Texas budget and call a special session for the Texas Legislature to take five steps that lock the state into a path to accomplish this within eight years:
1. Limit State Spending Growth: Limiting state spending growth to no more than 5.9% per biennium (2.9% annually) would provide budget surpluses that could be dedicated to property tax relief.
2. Freeze School M&O Property Taxes: Freezing school M&O property tax revenue at the current level stops school districts from undermining efforts to eliminate the M&O tax with constant increases.
3. Use 90% of Texas’ Budget Surpluses: Using 90% of state funds budget surpluses will provide enough funds to eliminate the M&O property tax in 8 years (or less).
4. Require Voter Approval to Exceed the No-New-Revenue Tax Rate: Cities, counties, and special districts must ask voters for permission to Exceed the No-New-Revenue Tax Rate.
5. Enshrine Property Tax Relief in the Texas Constitution: Property tax relief must be made permanent by passing an amendment to the Texas Constitution.
The Huffines Liberty Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan research institute. Our mission is to advance the cause of liberty, prosperity, and virtue in the State of Texas by educating and equipping citizens so they may hold their elected officials accountable and better informed to tackle the toughest challenges.
Help us advance liberty and prosperity in Texas: