July 19, 2023 843 PM
With a much-anticipated sigh of relief for homeowners and businesses across the Lone Star State, the Texas Legislature has passed a historic $18 billion property tax relief package and hardworking families across Texas will finally see the property tax relief they need.
For many hardworking families, owning a home is part of the American Dream, but skyrocketing property taxes and valuations in Texas have made that dream seem out of reach. It’s no surprise that local property taxes in West Texas have become the number one complaint among working families and homeowners. Too often across our district, I’ve heard stories about how high property taxes have pushed families out of their homes and left them to make impossible financial decisions.
West Texans are resilient. But the burden of property taxes is too heavy.
Recognizing the dire urgency of this issue, along with Texas’ historic budget surplus, I entered the legislative session with a firm determination to deliver much-needed economic relief to our working families and communities. After one regular session, two special sessions, and months of negotiation, I am proud to have co-authored and helped pass this Texas-sized, historic tax relief package to provide real economic relief to homeowners, renters and small businesses.
This legislation includes the largest property tax cut in the history of Texas, promising real relief in the wallets of homeowners and working families. On average, homeowners can expect to see over $1,300 in savings. This bill achieves this by raising the homestead exemption from $40,000 to $100,000 for homeowners and $110,000 for those over 65 or disabled. Additionally, this package allocates $12 billion to buy-down local school property taxes for all property owners, whether residential or commercial. In Senate District 29, from El Paso to the Big Bend and Permian Basin regions, 60,000 homeowners could pay zero dollars in school property taxes with the new $100k homestead exemption alone. That is real relief that can mean the difference between paying for utilities, groceries, medicine and other living necessities!
Small businesses will also reap tremendous benefits from this legislation. With $12 billion dedicated to cutting local school property tax rates by 10.7 pennies, the state will fill in gaps to make local school districts whole, while also providing much-needed property tax relief for small businesses. In addition to the property tax relief, we also doubled the franchise tax exemption, relieving over 67,000 small businesses in our communities from the burden of the state’s franchise tax. Furthermore, the bill eliminates the requirement for taxable entities that do not owe any franchise taxes to file a No-Tax-Due franchise tax return. This streamlines the process, saving businesses valuable time and money associated with this unnecessary tax. Non-residential property owners will also benefit from a 20% appraisal cap on properties valued under $5 million. These measures demonstrate our commitment to nurturing the growth of small businesses, which are essential to local job creation and a strong economy.
While voters ultimately have the final say this November as to whether this tax relief plan will be put into place, passage of this long overdue relief is a major victory for homeowners, renters, and small businesses across Texas! This means money back in the pockets of millions of hardworking families to help relieve their economic strain and address food insecurity, strengthen our small business community, and ultimately build stronger and brighter futures for all our families and communities.