With only six days left in the second called special session real property tax relief is being lowered into a shallow grave. HB 122, the strongest legislation that the Texas House has seen in years, seeks to apply 90% of the current budget surplus and future surpluses to significant property tax relief with the goal of elimination. Despite overwhelming bipartisan support and support from grassroots groups across the state, the Texas House has decided to ignore this bill and turn its backs on Texas taxpayers.
HB 122 by Rep. Tom Oliverson (R-Cypress) was referred to the House Appropriations Committee on 8/23/21 where it has sat untouched. HB 122 has 55 bipartisan authors and coauthors yet it has been pushed aside and ignored since its referral. Surely the Texas House had a stronger bill than HB 122 that would provide significant property tax relief right?
Wrong. The bills that the legislature have passed are more “do nothing” legislation, one of which makes the tax burden worse for most Texans.
The bills which were passed by both chambers follow a familiar pattern for the Texas legislature, big promises but little to no help. SB 8 would allow those that purchase a home to receive a homestead exemption in the same year as the purchase. SB 12 carves out tax compression rates for those over 65 and the disabled. Neither of these provides any significant relief, as a matter of fact, SB 12 will ultimately raise taxes on the majority of Texas homeowners as a result of treating some as a special class. Rest assured the government is not going to collect fewer taxes, but will simply shift that burden to those not in the special class.
But what about the promise to provide property tax relief that taxpayers have been begging for years? Our only hope is in HB 122 which is currently on life support and the legislature is ready to pull the plug. There are 6 days left in the session and the possibility of any significant property tax relief is looking pretty abysmal. If HB 122 cannot get to the governor’s desk by Sunday, taxpayers will be waiting until 2023 for our next chance for property tax relief.