On Tuesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced Special Session No. 2, calling lawmakers back to the Texas Capitol “to provide lasting property tax cuts for Texans,” according to a press release. The special session begins at 3 p.m. Tuesday. The Texas House and Senate approved separate property tax plans but did not come to an agreement during the first special session.
Speaker of the House Dade Phelan sent out a memo to members telling them to plan to convene Wednesday at 11 a.m. in anticipation of being called back immediately. On the first day of the first special session, the House passed Abbott’s preferred property tax and border bills – the other and less talked about item on the session’s agenda – leaving the Senate with only two options: take it or leave it.
Governor Abbott issued a statement saying, “Unless and until the House and Senate agree on a different proposal to provide property tax cuts, I will continue to call for lasting property tax cuts through rate reductions and working toward eliminating the school property tax in Texas. Special sessions will continue to focus on only property tax cuts until property tax cut legislation reaches my desk.”
On the first day of the first special session, the House passed Abbott’s preferred property tax and border security bills – the other and less talked about item on the session’s agenda – leaving the Senate with only two options: take it or leave it.
The House bill would use $12.3 billion of available Texas dollars to reduce property taxes, by “compression.” In the following 30 days, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick stood firmly on the Senate’s promise to Texans to raise the homestead exemption – the amount of a home’s value that taxpayers can write-off from their tax bill.
Last week, senators unanimously passed the most expensive property tax relief package yet. Bettencourt’s Senate Bill 26 would spend more than $18 billion of the state’s budget surplus on three different mechanisms aimed at lowering property tax bills, adding another $400 million to the previous plans.
Abbott’s property tax cut plan is backed by 40 homeowner, consumer, and business organizations across the state, as well as leading tax police groups Texas Taxpayers and Research Association, Americans for Tax Reform and Texas Public Policy Foundation, the release said.