Governor Abbott Rolls Out Plan To Rein In Texas Property Taxes

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today will announce a set of proposals to rein in skyrocketing property taxes in the Lone Star State and provide greater transparency to voters in the process. In announcing his plan, the Governor will hold press conferences at a homeowner’s residence in Houston and the tax assessor’s office in Arlington to highlight the negative impact that rising property taxes are having on everyday Texans.

Governor Abbott’s plan to lower property taxes would:

  • Place a 2.5 percent revenue growth cap on property tax revenue per year. Voter approval would be needed if local governments wanted to raise the cap to more than growth in population and inflation.
  • Require locally elected officials who oversee taxing districts to vote to increase property appraisals, making the process more transparent and holding elected leaders accountable to the voters.
  • Restrain local debt, a major driver of property tax increases.

“With the skyrocketing rise in property taxes, more and more Texans face the risk of being forced out of the homes they have lived in for decades,” said Governor Abbott. “Young families who are just starting out are having trouble affording their first home and businesses are unable to grow and hire more workers. Enough is enough. Under the plan I am announcing today, Texas will take action to limit property tax growth, secure private property rights and ensure that Texas remains the most exceptional state in the nation.”

To read Governor Abbott’s full plan, click here.

Governor Abbott’s Property Tax Plan Overview

Property taxes in Texas are rising at record rates and as a result, Texans are being taxed out homes they have lived in for years and young families are unable to realize their dream of owning their own home. Since 1997, property tax collections have increased by 195 percent in the Lone Star State. Governor Abbott’s plan focuses on reining in these out of control property taxes and ensuring that Texans do not become tenants of their own property.

Restraining the Growth of Property Taxes

Governor Abbott’s plan seeks to restrain the growth of property taxes by establishing a property tax revenue growth cap of 2.5 percent per year. Additionally, this plan will increase transparency by holding elected officials accountable and requiring them to vote on the reappraisal of districts, making them answerable to voters for increases in property taxes.

Require locally elected officials who oversee taxing districts to vote to increase property appraisals

In an effort to bring voters into the process and give them more power over their property taxes, Governor Abbott is proposing that locally elected officials who oversee these taxing districts be required to vote on any increase in appraisals. This will provide more transparency to the process, while ensuring elected leaders are held accountable to their constituents.

Local Debt

Texas has the second highest per capita local debt in the nation and this is one of the biggest drivers behind the increase in property taxes because property taxes are the primary source of revenue for local governments. Governor Abbott’s plan will also improve the transparency of local debt by requiring local governments to post their debt obligation online, require a two-thirds supermajority vote to approve the issuance of new local debt, prohibit debt from being used for non-specified purposes and restrict the use of certificates of obligation.

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