The property tax relief package that the Texas Senate proposed and ultimately enacted was worth $16.5 billion and was signed by all 31 members of the state Senate. This plan, which has support from both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, will work to reduce property taxes in three separate ways.
If the Texas House of Representatives approves the package, it will be up to the Texas voters to decide whether to accept it in November. The bundle includes not one, not two, but three separate bills in addition to a joint resolution.
New Property Tax Relief Package
The first is Senate Bill 3, which would increase the amount of money exempted from property taxes under the Homestead Exemption Act from $40,000 to $70,000, lowering the fraction of a home’s worth subject to taxation.
In addition, people who are disabled and over the age of 65 are eligible for an additional exemption, which is presently valued at $10,000. On the other hand, Senate Bill 3 would increase it to $30,000. The Homestead Act will be amended to include this provision for them.
Senate Bill 4 aims to reduce school property tax assessments to $0.07 per $100 assessed value. To compensate for potential financial shortfalls, the Texas Senate intends to allocate more than $5 billion to school districts.
State senators contend that reducing the property tax rate for school districts would enable ISDs to keep a more significant portion of their recapture payments. A state practice known as “recapture” occurs when a school district has extra tax revenue left over after paying for its entitlement.
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The state must get the extra tax money that the school receives. The state then distributes money to school districts that cannot cover their claim due to low property values. The Robin Hood law is the name given to it.
It is true that with a lower school property tax rate, schools would not have to pay the state as much in recapture payments. Yet, given that the rates would be lower, there is doubt that schools would receive any more funding if any at all.
Don Huffines tweeted that This new property tax package falls short of natural property tax relief. You can see below:
— Don Huffines (@DonHuffines) March 20, 2023
Another argument against the state’s budget surplus is that Texas had to deal with more significant sales taxes, higher property tax assessments, and inflation. How will the state maintain its commitment to keeping the property tax rate for school districts lower when that budget surplus runs out? The state could need to increase sales taxes to maintain this, which is a concern.
A company’s personal property tax exemption would rise from $2,500 to $25,000 under Senate Bill 5. Additionally, it would permit a 20% tax credit for property and inventory expenses. There is hope that this property relief package will considerably help small firms.
Texas voters will need to approve the joint resolution to become law. But before it can be supported by voters and signed by the governor, it must pass the Texas House of Representatives.
According to a different plan by the Texas House, property taxes could be reduced by lowering the assessment value from 10% annual growth to 5%. Further details on that are available here.
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