Gimme Shelter: Texans Seek Property Tax Relief

As the economy emerges from the pandemic, several states are cutting their income taxes to further spur economic growth. No such issue exists in income tax-free Texas, but here the focus is on property taxes, which continue to rise for many people. In 2019, the state passed legislation that capped the growth of property tax rates, but lawmakers and economists alike agree that more needs to be done. "Many people are not able to buy a home because property taxes are going through the roof, and many are losing their homes on the other side of it," says Vance Ginn, chief economist for the Texas Public Policy Foundation. "That is an unfortunate situation that I hope the legislature will do something with."

Capping rates was a good start, but Ginn says lawmakers need to go further now. "What I think many taxpayers want is a lower tax bill, so when they look at their bill it's actually going down," he tells KTRH. "Working on ways to find opportunities to lower property tax bills...that should be the key on every legislator's mind throughout the special session."

Ginn hopes the special session will yield some relief for Texas property owners. "We don't have time to wait until the next regular legislative session, which won't be until 2023," he says. "They have an opportunity to do something now, there are surplus dollars to do those things now, and there should be the will to get them done."

Some lawmakers are doing just that. Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) has introduced two property tax relief bills, both of which have cleared committee.

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