Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dade Phelan are scheduled to speak face-to-face on Wednesday for the first time in over a month to discuss their disagreements about how to reduce property taxes for Texans.
The ideal option is still being disputed by the House, Senate, and Governor Greg Abbott.The second special legislative session was convened by Abbott last week so that lawmakers could enact a bill reducing property taxes and deliver it to him for signature.
The governor wants to set the state on a course to eliminate the school maintenance and operations, or M&O, element of the property tax, which makes up the majority of the state’s property tax.
We Were Looking To See If It Could Be Done
If lawmakers might eliminate the school M&O property tax without harming school finance, we asked James LeBas, a former chief revenue officer for the state of Texas who also served in the budget departments of former governors Ann Richards and George W. Bush.
It would be necessary for legislators to substitute state sales tax and other state resources for local property taxes in order to fund schools.
“The quick way would suggest we would need to have some additional state revenue come in,” said LeBas. “This could be a new tax, some other kind of new fee, or another way to finance state government.” “The slow route would be the alternative.
He claimed that it would take that long at the very least since the school property tax is a shifting objective and is based on the health of the Texas economy.
LeBas declared, “We have more children.” “Inflation is an issue. We occasionally have needs, such as spending for school safety or paying for teacher pay increases. If the economy hits a slump, there may be occasions when you are unable to boost the amount the state is replenishing.
In the 35 years that Jalee Gill and his wife have lived in Richardson, they have seen their property prices and taxes rise.
Gill stated, “We’re paying a few times what we had previously.” “Some property tax relief would be nice,”
Gill declared that he is in favour of gradually getting rid of the school M&O property tax. The incremental approach, in my opinion, is the wisest course of action, said Gill. The better course of action is to proceed slowly and steadily, like a tortoise and a hare. Will they persist? is a part of the problem.
It Has Been Consistently Derided As Impossible By The Lt. Governor
But the Senate’s bill, which was unanimously approved last week and offers $18 billion in property tax relief, also raises the homestead exemption to $100,000 for the majority of homeowners and $110,000 for homeowners over the age of 65.
That would roughly treble the relief in the House proposal, giving the majority of homeowners savings of close to $2,600 and those over 65 savings of approximately $3,000 in the first two years.
Who doesn’t appreciate the thought of paying less in taxes, however you go about it? asked Gill. In addition, the Senate’s proposal would quadruple the amount of the franchise tax exemption for businesses, to $2.5 million, allowing 67,000 small enterprises to avoid paying any franchise fees at all. Additionally, senators voted in favour of an amendment that would have added $3.2 billion to pay for teacher incentives.
A special session on school choice legislation has been promised by the governor, and it would provide some students access to taxpayer-funded education savings accounts so they can attend private schools.