Property Tax Roll-back
The 2017 Special session called by Gov. Greg Abbott begins on July 18, 2017.
Click here to learn more about our upcoming 30-day Special Session.
Now through Election Day, 11/7/2017, is when your legislators are MOST attentive to your concerns.
Be sure to let your legislators know your stance on this issue during Special Session this July - August!
Find your legislators here: Senators Contact Info | Representatives Contact Info
Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF):
2017-18 TPPF Legislator's Guide: Property Tax Rollback, Special Session Edition.
Time for a Property Tax Trigger by Bryan Mathew and James Quintero, Texas Public Policy Foundation (March 2017).
The Freedom to Own Property: Reforming Texas’ Local Property Tax by Vance Ginn, Kathleen Hunker, and James Quintero, Texas Public Policy Foundation (Oct. 2015).
Commentary: Give Voters More Control of Property Taxes, James Quintero & Vance Ginn, May 14, 2017
Invisible Government: Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones (TIRZ), by Bryan Mathews, Center for Local Governance
Fiscal Recap of the 85th TX Legislature's Regular Session & Special Session Preview, Vance Ginn, Center for Fiscal Policy, June 12, 2017
TX Sen. Paul Bettencourt (SD-7)
Gov. Abbott Signs Four Property Tax Reform Bills Passed By Sen. Bettencourt, Press Release, June 16, 2017
Senator Bettencourt Applauds Governor Abbott’s Special Session Call, Press Release, June 6, 2017
Where Do Texas Homeowners Pay the Highest Property Taxes, Ross Kecseg, May 15, 2017 (Great chart ranking TX Counties)
|Property Tax Reform is in the 2016 Republican Party of Texas Platform, Planks 175 & 178 (p. 19). It is also an RPT Legislative Priority.
Although a repeal of the Property Tax is not on the table, reining in local spending by capping the rate of increase is a good and necessary preparatory step.
Excerpts from: Property Tax Rollback Trigger of TPPF's 2017 Special Session Edition of Legislator's Guide:
Property Tax Rollback Trigger
In fiscal 2015, more than 4,100 local governments levied $52.2 billion in property tax revenue, an increase of almost $12 billion over the past five years. This translates to $1,900 in property tax revenue in 2015 from every man, woman, and child in the Lone Star State—a cost of nearly $8,000 for a family of four.
Compared to other major U.S. states, Texas’ property tax burden rates among the worst. According to the Tax Foundation, the mean effective property tax rate on owner-occupied housing in Texas ranks as the 6th highest nationally, while local property taxes collected per capita rank as the 14th highest in the U.S.
From 2000 to 2015, property taxes levied across the state grew by more than 132 percent. Over that same period, population and inflation—a commonly used metric that accounts for the rising cost of funding basic public goods and services along with economies of scale—increased by only 82 percent.
According to a poll by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune, conducted February 3-10, 2017, the top priority for the 1,200 adults surveyed was “lowering property tax bills for homeowners,” which ranked as the top choice.... A close third in the poll was “continuing to limit government by approving no new spending and no new taxes...”
Texans are, rightfully, hungry for reform because oppressive taxes can discourage economic growth and activity, distort investment decisions (especially among capital intensive industries), depress job creation, and make it difficult to afford day-to-day life.
One idea to protect taxpayers is to establish a “trigger” requiring an automatic rollback election to be held when local property tax revenues grow too much in any one year. That threshold should be set at 4 percent or population growth plus inflation, whichever is less. Together, these reforms will place the onus on local governments to justify excessive tax increases to voters...
Perhaps most importantly, these kinds of reforms place more power in the hands of those who bear the burden of government.
• In fiscal 2015, more than 4,100 local governments levied $52.2 billion in property taxes on Texas homeowners and businesses. That translates into a burden of nearly $8,000 for a family of four.
• From 2000 to 2015, Texas’ property tax grew by 132 percent. Population and inflation increased just 82 percent over the same period.
• According to a poll conducted by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune of 1,200 registered voters over June 2 to June 11, 2017, 77 percent of Texans support a move by the Legislature to limit how fast property taxes can grow.
Require voter approval for property tax rates that result in property tax revenue increases of more than 4 percent or population growth plus inflation, whichever is less.
For more information on property tax reform, please see: The Freedom to Own Property: Reforming Texas’ Local Property Tax