News

Texas lawmaker: If cities, counties balk at property tax changes, state officials will ‘shove it down their throat’

Cities and counties that balk at an effort to more tightly regulate their property tax collections will find that state officials will “shove it down their throat” in a special session, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dennis Bonnen said Monday.

San Antonio Express

What’s the biggest lie of the 2017 Texas Legislature?

The lie being told in Austin is that big property tax bill under consideration, Senate Bill 2, takes away local control from city and county governments back home. They say the bill also limits growth in budgets for cities, counties, community colleges and hospital districts.

Dallas News

SB 2 the Rescue? Local Texas Governments Lobby to Kill Property Tax Relief Bill

Filed in November 2016 by Republican Texas State Senator Paul Bettencourt, Senate Bill (SB) 2, or The Texas Property Tax Reform and Relief Act of 2017, would require cities and counties to ask for voter approval for any property tax hike greater than 4 percent.

Houston Business Journal

Property Taxes

While some lawmakers in Austin are pushing the envelope on providing property tax relief to Texas residents and businesses, local municipalities are fighting tooth and nail to keep money in their pockets and keep with the status quo.

Houston Chronicle

Texas Senate approves SB 2, 18-12 vote

Senate Bill 2, the Property Tax Reform and Relief Act, passed the Texas Senate on an 18-12 vote. The bill was co-written by Senator Van Taylor (R-Plano), Sen. Bettencourt (R-Houston) and Sens. Brandon Creighton and Kelly Hancock.

Plano Star Courier

Texas REALTORS® support property tax reforms in Senate Bill 2

The Texas Association of REALTORS® has announced its support for the property tax reforms provided in Senate Bill 2, now making its way through the Texas Senate.

TexasRealEstate.com

Many Texas cities and counties lobbying hard against bill seeking property tax change

To all city and county officials and your paid lobbyists who are blanketing state lawmakers with anti-property tax reform complaints: You ought to be ashamed. The Watchdog is calling you out.

Dallas News

Downtown Austin office rents climb sharply as additional operating cost pile up

Tenants in downtown Austin office buildings have been loudly complaining about rising rents — not because of the original terms of a lease but because of increased property taxes and other operating costs passed on by landlords.

Austin Business Journal

State Officials commend Noack, county for property tax actions

Days after Montgomery County commissioners unanimously approved a resolution in support of a property tax reform bill and also passed a 10 percent homestead exemption for homeowners, Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack was commended by state officials for the court’s efforts during a press conference Monday.

mySA.com

Montgomery County supports Tax Reform Bill

Commissioners in Montgomery County support a bill that would make it easier for Texans to challenge their property taxes. This bill would increase the accountability of appraisal districts. Montgomery county is the first county to pass a resolution supporting it.

KHOU.com

Montgomery County Commissioners endorse Property Tax Relief Bill

SB2 has faced stiff opposition from local governments. Senator Paul Bettencourt, the bill’s author, hopes the endorsement from Texas’ 11th largest county will help sway the top ten.

Houston Public Media

Lawmakers file property tax bills

Some Texas lawmakers are prioritizing taxpayer relief this legislative session, which began in January, but some local government officials are worried about what it could mean for their budgets.

Community Impact

The Property Tax in Texas

For many Texans, the property tax is the most mysterious tax they pay. Each spring they receive a notice from an entity they aren’t familiar with telling them what their property is worth. Then in the fall, they receive a notice of the taxes they owe on that property to their city, county, school district, and possibly several other taxing units they didn’t know existed.

Texas Taxpayers and Research Association

The first step in fixing Texas’ ridiculous property tax laws is here

What kind of property tax reform will we get from the 2017 Texas Legislature?

The Watchdog hoped to see a shift of the tax burden to a fairer system, eliminating advantages for some, holding public officials more accountable and making the system more transparent.

Dallas News

Texas BOMA supports property tax reform efforts through Statewide Advocacy Day

Commercial properties across the state have experienced a sharp increase in valuations in recent years. BOMA’s Economic Impact Studies show valuations in Texas have risen 100 percent over the past five years in some areas, making it difficult for Texas’ small businesses to accurately plan for the future and putting economic growth and jobs at risk.

Yahoo Finance

‘Texans are being crushed by property taxes,’ Abbott says in urging relief

Texas property owners: Gov. Greg Abbott has heard your concerns and agrees you need a break. Declaring that “Texans are being crushed by property taxes,” Abbott called on state lawmakers Tuesday to develop a plan to bring them relief.

Star-Telegram

Well-known South Austin Tex-Mex restaurant to close after 60 years in business

El Gallo Restaurant, which has been serving up queso, fajitas and other Tex-Mex fare to hungry South Austinites for nearly 60 years, will close at the end of the week. Owner Abel Gonzalez Kennedy said the final day of service will be Sunday, Jan. 29 for the eatery at 2910 S. Congress Ave.

Austin Business Journal

Legislature may give Texans major property tax relief, standardized appraisal process

SB 2 is a big piece of legislation that, in essence, acknowledges that property taxes have been levied unevenly across the state. It aims to deliver a more level playing field to property owners, although some cities and counties worry that such a move would drastically decrease their revenue.

Austin Business Journal

Can State Sen. Paul Bettencourt Pull Off a Property Tax Reform Miracle?

Over the course of 11 months state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, chairman of the Select Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief,  heard countless stories from people who have been grappling with sky-high property taxes — Texas has the fifth-highest median property tax rate in the country — that just keep climbing.

Houston Press

Texas BOMA “Taxed Out of Town” Initiative Supports Senate Bill 2 (SB 2)

The Texas Building Owners and Managers Association (Texas BOMA) announced today their full support of the Senate Select Committee on Property Tax Reform & Relief Senate Bill 2 (SB 2), the Texas Property Tax Reform and Relief Act of 2017. Via “Taxed Out of Town”, a statewide initiative advocating for Texas property tax and appraisal reform, Texas BOMA once again joined the fight against unpredictable and uncontrolled property valuation increases.

PR Newswire

How the city of Austin cuts taxes — by raising taxes

Austin’s City Council has created a new homestead exemption for homeowners – 6 percent last year and 8 percent for 2016. By some reports the 8 percent exemption will “cost” the city $15 million, but that’s funky math.

Austin Business Journal

Bettencourt Prevents Property Tax Increase, Saves Taxpayers $100 Million

Dallas taxpayers dodged a $100 million bullet last week as the Dallas ISD board of trustees rejected a 13-cent tax increase. Though a majority of the trustees supported the measure, the 5-4 vote wasn’t enough thanks to a lawmaker from Houston.

Texas Scorecard

Time to talk about the hidden property tax

August 22, 2016 – Texans enjoy a robust economy, and the values of our homes and businesses have increased dramatically. Those are good things. But property owners also pay some of the highest property taxes in the country — and many Texans are being taxed out of their homes.

TribTalk

Property taxes trigger ‘growing social crisis in Texas’

August 4, 2016 – A Texas lawmaker is calling local politicians to account for their persistent assertions that steady tax rates mean flat property tax bills.

Watchdog

Property Tax Hikes Caused by Double-Dipping

July 25, 2016 – Texans seeking to stop rising property taxes should ask their local officials to adopt the “effective” tax rate. Otherwise, local officials are likely to “double-dip” by collecting more money from the existing tax base, while collecting new revenue from new properties added to the tax rolls.

Texas Scorecard

Sen. Bettencourt Busts Another Property Tax Myth

June 28, 2016 – Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) today busted another property tax myth, stating that new construction is not the major cause of property value increases around the State.

State of Texas, Texas Senate – Press Release

Senator Bettencourt Busts Common Property Tax Myth

June 20, 2016 – Senator Paul Bettencourt, Texas State Senator for District 7, today announced that he will be “myth busting” a series of common property tax myths over the coming weeks. During statewide testimony in front of the Senate Select Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief, which is chaired by Sen. Bettencourt, pro-tax groups repeated several myths that are not supported by empirical data.

State of Texas, Texas Senate – Press Release

Betancourt: The real issue: a flawed appraisal system

April 29, 2016 – Mayor Sylvester Turner was right to say during the April 6 Houston City Council meeting that the Texas Legislature needed to “address issues with the taxation of commercial property in Houston.” The only problem is that his argument is misguided. The mayor pointed to a “spiral downward of commercial property values” caused by the “median” tax rates that commercial property owners pay as being the root of the issue; however, data does not support his theory.

The Houston Chronicle 

Op-Ed: More Than Tax Relief, Texans Need Tax Reform

May 15, 2015 – The Texas House and the Texas Senate haven’t yet come to an agreement on the best way to provide tax relief—but there’s a growing recognition in both chambers that tax reform is equally, if not more, important. Especially when it comes to property taxes. Right now, homeowners and businesses pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation. According to the Tax Foundation’s latest national rankings, the Lone Star State has the 14th worst system for taxpayers, collecting the equivalent of nearly $1,600 for every man, woman, and child in the state.

Breitbart Texas 

Dallas County’s property values jump more than 12 percent in preliminary appraisals

May 15, 2015 – Dallas County’s property values have jumped by more than 12 percent, thanks to a boom in new construction and a hot real estate market, according to preliminary numbers released Friday by the Dallas Central Appraisal District. The county’s preliminary valuations for 2015 have reached nearly $197 billion, reflecting a stronger economy in North Texas.

The Dallas Morning News

Last-Minute Amendment Could Put Brakes On Tax Hikes

May 12, 2015 – Recently, Texas Senators took another shot at protecting Texans from soaring local property taxes. The Senate’s latest taxpayer protection measure came in the form of a floor amendment added to Senate Bill 1760, a bill to advance transparency and accountability in the local property tax system. The amendment could be a game changer for property taxpayers.

Think Local Liberty

Bettencourt Hopes to Slow Property Tax Growth

April 30, 2015 – State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, has been trying for months to pass legislation that would make it tougher for local entities to bring in more tax revenue by taking advantage of rising property values. On Thursday, he managed to add language to a bill from state Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, that could do just that, though not as severely as many local officials had feared.

Texas Tribune

Don’t let Texas businesses get taxed out of town

March 23, 2015 – The call for equal and uniform property appraisals is one of the most talked about issues of the 84th Texas legislature. While the Texas Constitution requires equal and uniform taxation, commercial properties across the state have experienced rapid, unpredictable property appraisal increases over the last few years without proportionate reductions in tax rates.

Bisnow

Texas has second-highest property taxes in nation

March 19, 2015 – Texas has the second highest property taxes in the nation, according to a new study by RealtyTrac, a real estate data firm. New York has the highest. Property tax reform is a controversial issue in the current session of the Texas Legislature. The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) is leading a campaign protesting tax appraisals on Texas commercial properties.

Reality News Report

Proposed property tax change will drive up Houston office rents, leaders say

March 11, 2015 – State Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, filed a bill in the state legislature March 10 that takes aim at a statute in the property tax code that he says is overburdening county appraisal districts, while organizations in the business and commercial real estate communities have come out against legislation that will make it harder for property owners to appeal their property taxes.

Houston Business Journal

How do you make a billion-dollar tax break feel real?

February 1, 2015 – When Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson proposed $3 billion in property tax cuts over two years, she said she wanted to ensure “relief that taxpayers will actually see and feel.” Just how to do that is the billion-dollar question.Lawmakers know only too well that they failed to make much of an impression on Texans with more than twice that much in property-tax breaks passed eight years ago.A 2006 tax package championed by former Gov. Rick Perry reduced local school property taxes by $7 billion a year while raising the state business tax to help cover the cost of the reduction.

Houston Chronicle

Suit alleges property value hearings rigged “We were puppets,” said Alex Lozano

January 12, 2015 – The chair of the property Appraisal Review Board, whose term ended last month, routinely told members to side with the El Paso Central Appraisal District on contested property valuations, predetermined settlements and punished those who didn’t follow her instructions.Those allegations are contained in a lawsuit filed last January in County Court No. 5. The suit is nearing a settlement that would banish the chair, Amee Raspopovich, from both the CAD and ARB.

El Paso Inc.

How Texas Can Fix Broken Appraisal Process

January 12, 2015 – The 84th Texas Legislature starts in a few weeks and Texas BOMA is circling the wagons to oust subjective property appraisals. Texas BOMA incoming president Karisa Johnson (in her BOMA jacket with her Transwestern team) tells us there have been unpredictable and uncontrolled valuation increases on property values.

Bisnow

Coalition for Fair and Uniform Taxation: Tax Reform Groups Hide Their Real Agenda Homeowners Beware

January 6, 2015 – There is nothing more enticing to a homeowner than the claim that tax reform will make businesses pay more taxes so they pay less. Trouble is the claim is based on faulty accounting and inaccurate information. Garbage in = garbage out.

PR Newswire

Patrick committed to Tax cut Despite Falling Oil Prices

January 5, 2015 – Despite low oil prices, Lt. Gov.-elect Dan Patrick said Monday he remains committed to serious tax relief for Texans. Patrick, a Houston senator who is the incoming lieutenant governor, told reporters the price of oil is a consideration because of its impact on tax collections and jobs.

Houston Chronicle 

Taking on a taxing topic: Mandatory price disclosure faces scrutiny by lawmakers

December 26, 2014 – Appraisal reform and mandatory price disclosure are two phrases that have been discussed by lawmakers in previous legislative sessions, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the overarching related topic — property taxes — rises to the top of the agenda.

Austin Business Journal

How Texas Can Fix The Broken Appraisal Process

December 24, 2014 – The 84th Texas Legislature starts tomorrow and Texas BOMA is circling the wagons to oust subjective property appraisals. Houston BOMA EVP/COO Tammy Betancourt (here, right, with JLL’s Mary Stanton and Transwestern’s Brett Williams at the US Capitol) tells us there have been unpredictable and uncontrolled valuation increases on property values. In some areas of Houston, they’ve increased more than 100% in the last two years.

Bisnow

Rising Commercial Property Valuations Might Drive Businesses Out of Houston, Group Says

December 23, 2014 – The Texas Building Owners and Managers Association has launched a statewide initiative urging legislators to reform how property across the state is appraised. Dubbed “Taxed Out of Town,” the initiative hopes to raise awareness about the rising tax burden on local businesses and possible negative ramifications.

Houston Business Journal

Houston senator proposes bill to slash property taxes

November 13, 2014 – A newly-elected Republican state senator from Houston who is closely aligned with the incoming lieutenant governor filed a bill on Thursday that he says would help cut a few hundred dollars a year on average from property-tax bills in Austin and other fast-growing areas with skyrocketing property taxes.

Austin American-Statesman

Another Popular Washington Ave Spot Shutters — Do all dog park bars go to heaven?

November 12, 2014 – The recent wave of shutterings on Washington has claimed another victim. While recent closings like Polovina, TQLA and Coppa Ristorante have been located on the part of the street known for bars and restaurants, the latest establishment lies on the more lightly-traveled north side of I-10. Popular dog park bar The Boneyard Drinkery announced on Facebook today that it will close on November 30.

CultureMap Houston