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Legislative Update- Texas Property Tax Reform and Relief Act of 2019

On January 31, 2019, Senator Paul Bettencourt, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Property Tax, filed Senate Bill 2, cited as the Property Tax Reform and Relief Act of 2019. That day, an identical companion bill, House Bill 2, was filed by Representative Dustin Burrows.

SB 2 and HB 2 address the rate of growth of local property taxes. First, taxing entities, including local school districts, would have to get permission from voters in a November election to raise property taxes more than 2.5 percent annually. This limitation would be subject to some exceptions, including an exception for small taxing units. The bill is also an overhaul on the tax notification system and introduces a more transparent and consistent process for challenging a home’s appraised value.

Importantly, these bills are being supported by Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Patrick and House Speaker Bonnen. While both chambers have failed to pass similar bills in past legislative sessions, the support from these high-ranking and high-profile members could push this significant piece of property tax legislation all the way.

This Wednesday, February 6, the Senate Committee on Property Tax will hold a public hearing to discuss the newly filed SB 2. House Speaker Bonnen soon will assign HB 2 to a committee. HB 2 author Representative Burrows chairs the House Ways & Means Committee, which is scheduled to meet this week. 

Preston Dugas Law Firm is following SB 2 and HB 2 closely, among a handful of others that could have a profound effect on the property tax landscape in Texas.

You can read the full text of SB 2 “Texas Property Tax Reform and Relief Act of 2019” here: https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/86R/billtext/pdf/SB00002I.pdf#navpanes=0.