If you are a homeowner here in Texas you probably cringe every time your property tax bill shows up in the mail. Lawmakers in Austin have heard your complaints and may try to do something about it sooner rather than later.
Sooner being the legislative session in Austin next year. But Dale Craymer of the Texas Taxpayers Research Association says it's harder than you think it is to pull off.
“The state doesn’t assess the property tax. It’s assessed by schools, cities and counties. The state doesn’t have a financial relationship with cities, counties and special districts,” Craymer told KTRH News.
But that doesn’t mean they can’t do anything about the problem.
“As a part of school finance reform the legislature could substitute additional state money and require that money be used to buy down local school taxes,” Craymer said.
So lawmakers could move to buy down school taxes. There is a proposal from State Senator Kirk Watson that includes a homestead tax relief component. Craymer says that won’t work for everyone.
“It would provide relief to homeowners, but it doesn’t do anything for small business owners and big business owners that pay the lion’s share of property taxes today,” Craymer explained.
Former tax assessor collector Paul Bettencourt told KTRH whatever the plan is, you can expect something to happen next year.
“When you hear people on both sides of the aisle saying the same thing it’s because they are all paying the same thing. They are paying more,” Bettencourt said. “It’s a lose-lose for taxpayers at this point and I think it’s very probable that there will be legislation passed in the next session.”
Senator Watson isn't the only one promising lower property taxes. Lt. Governor candidate Dan Patrick is, too. But Craymer says he hasn't put out a specific plan yet.