High property taxes are hurting most families and relief must be a priority. The influx of people from other states has driven up home values all across our district. I believe that, for the immediate future, we need to continue to make sure our property values are assessed accurately and fairly and don’t just reflect a short-term spike.
In the ongoing debate over how to target relief, most proposals, including those supported by Governor Greg Abbott, focus on ad valorem taxes used to fund public schools. These proposals generally do this by basically paying for the schools' maintenance and operation portion of the taxes. This would be done from the state's surplus budget and then property tax portion will be decreased. This is what is meant when they talk about "compression." The latest bill being debated in this special session wants to use $17.6B of the state's $32B surplus to offset maintenance and operation. The school property tax is the largest portion of our property tax, which is why it is the target of relief. Other local taxing entities (City, County, Hospital) wouldn't change under this approach.
Another relief option is to increase the property tax homestead exemption. Various types of increases have been proposed, including a special rate for senior Texans. This type of proposal has mostly been supported in the Senate bills.
I support whatever combination of measures get Texans the most relief. I believe this is how government budget surpluses should be used.
Doug Roszhart for Texas
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