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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.