Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced Thursday that lawmakers had struck deals on bills to ratchet down property tax increases and boost public education spending — the twin priorities of the legislative session that ends Monday. “On fixing school finance, we are funding districts and education no longer on the wealth of school districts but on the needs of our individual students,” Abbott said. The legislation “also provides much needed property tax relief that has been burdening Texas taxpayers. It provides $5 billion in property tax relief in the first biennium. Future generations of children in Texas will be better off because of the public education reform accomplished this session.” view article arw

Legislation to rein in property tax collections would have slowed the pace of property tax increases in three Central Texas cities had the measures been in place since 2013, but taxes still would have increased every year, an American-Statesman analysis has found. Looking at the city and school district portions of tax bills — the lion’s share of the tax burden — for the average-value home in Austin, Round Rock and Kyle, property taxes would have increased over a five-year period had key provisions of Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 3 been in place. Still, homeowners would have paid less in property taxes than they actually did over that period. view article arw

Fort Bend ISD taxpayers could be heading to the polls again this year to vote on adding more money to the school district’s portion of annual property taxes.  District administration and the board of trustees discussed a possible tax ratification election, or TRE, at the May 13 board meeting. Through such an election, voters would have the chance to decide whether to raise the tax rate. view article arw

Members of the Superintendent’s Budget Advisory Council learned that estimated appraisal values for the district will increase a little more than 11 percent this year. The meeting was held in the administration building Wednesday. Deputy Superintendent Stephanie Howard said this is good news for the district, but Ector County Independent School District won’t get the certified values until July. view article arw

Wichita Falls School Board trustees will be asking taxpayers to approve a Maintenance and Operations tax increase while reducing the tax for debt service in a special June election. This comes after an almost four and a half hour board meeting on Tuesday afternoon. WFISD officials said the main benefit if voters say yes, will be increased financial contributions from the state, money the district could use for facility repairs and other projects that a bond issue could not address. Officials are currently at step four in a five-step plan geared toward school improvement. view article arw

While state legislators duke out the details of bills that would cap property tax revenue growth, Waco area leaders are proceeding with business as usual, having been through this type of uncertainty before. As it stands, Senate Bill 2 requires cities, counties and emergency service taxing districts to gain voter approval before raising 3.5% more property tax revenue than the previous year. Voters may salivate at the thought of the cap, but legislators have said it does not lower anyone’s property taxes, only makes the process more transparent. view article arw

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) - If the Wichita Falls ISD Board of Trustees approves the vote Tuesday, people in the school district could see a tax ratification election next month.  School leaders said this would effectively lower the overall tax rate while pulling a bigger percentage of its budget from the state.  The school district would have a special election asking voters to approve an increase in its maintenance and operating tax rate while reducing the tax for debt services. view article arw

Must read!  AUSTIN -- The House narrowly agreed Thursday to change the Texas Constitution to prohibit a personal income tax, as urged by a Plano lawmaker.  The move came just hours after the chamber passed a bill calling for elimination of the main school property tax in about 2 ½ years.  A study commission studded with legislators would study how to raise consumption taxes to make up for school districts' lost revenue from their maintenance and operation, or M&O, levy. view article arw

The state’s Big Three—Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen—would like to raise the state’s sales tax rate, in order to provide Texas homeowners with property tax relief. Republican legislators haven’t been too enthusiastic about that idea—and most of them were relieved on Tuesday, when House leaders announced that they had decided to postpone voting on a proposal to that effect, from state Rep. Dan Huberty. view article arw

AUSTIN — A plan to increase the state’ sales taxes to among the highest in the nation in order to cut property taxes is dead.  Just four days after Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen expressed confidence they had the votes to do it, the Texas House gave up, postponing any debate on the measure until January 2021, the next time the Texas Legislature meets. view article arw

Texas lawmakers are expected to debate a plan this week that would raise the taxes consumers pay when they go shopping in order to lower the taxes homeowners and business owners pay on their properties. Adding 1 percentage point to the rate of the sales tax, one of the state’s most regressive means of raising funds, would hit poor Texans hardest. But with less than a month left in the legislative session, new data is shedding light on how the proposal would benefit those with higher incomes at the expense of those with lower incomes. view article arw

In July 2018, the Houston-based natural gas midstream company had approached the State of Texas seeking tens of millions of dollars in property tax breaks. Known as Chapter 313, the economic development program was designed to lure to Texas manufacturers seeking to build new facilities. So applicants must convince state regulators they need the tax break to come.  Permico’s problem was that it appeared Texas-bound with or without it. Newspaper and trade articles had described the pipeline it was constructing from the Permian Basin to Corpus Christi, where it would build fractionators to separate out propane, ethane and butane. Funding for the project seemed lined up. view article arw

We start with the double down. Showing their usual united front, the state’s “Big Three” political leaders on Friday tried to remake their case for why the Texas Legislature should deliver on long-term, ongoing property tax relief before the session wraps up this month. They also expressed confidence that they would get the work done — even as House Democrats said they appeared to have the votes to block the lower chamber’s current main vehicle to provide the biggest property tax cut. view article arw

Texas is one of the most diverse states in the country, and Texans have a wide range of differing opinions on topics ranging from abortion to gun control. Yet, when it comes to an increase in the state sales tax to compensate for revenue lost from property tax reform, these diverse Texans are united in opposition. Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen proposed increasing the state sales tax by 1 cent to 7.25 cents. Using data from a University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs survey we examined Texans' views on a sales tax increase based on where they live, age, ethnicity or race, and partisanship. view article arw

Lawmakers moved to apply the state's sales tax to goods sold by remote vendors who don't have physical operations in Texas.  Texans who shop online could soon see purchase prices go up — filling the state treasury by roughly a half-billion dollars over the next two years — thanks to a proposed new sales tax levy on out-of-state sellers.  A pair of bills unanimously advanced by the Texas Senate on Friday would allow the state to collect sales tax on items sold by vendors who do not have a physical presence in Texas. A 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc. held that such taxes were constitutional. view article arw

Led by a surge in real estate values, tax rolls grew for nearly every Wise County entity based on 2019 value estimates released this week by the Wise County Appraisal District. Only the cities of Fort Worth and New Fairview saw decreases in the preliminary rolls from the 2018 certified rolls due to losses in mineral values. Most other cities and school districts saw double-digit increases in real estate values produce overall preliminary tax roll gains of between 1.75 to 16 percent. view article arw

Senate leaders have doubled down on providing property tax relief and $5,000 across-the-board raises for Texas teachers in their latest proposal to reform the state’s public education system, unveiled Thursday. There’s little detail about the plan’s cost or how it will affect individual school districts. Most of the proposed property tax relief hinges on voters approving a controversial tax swap, which would raise sales taxes by 1 percent — to 9.25 percent in most of Texas — to buy down school property tax bills. view article arw

The Texas Legislature is finally acknowledging that it has created a “dual education system” comprised of local community-based school districts and privately operated, State-approved charter schools (i.e. “State Charter Schools”). It may be surprising to many that both systems are funded by taxpayers and it would be logical for one to assume that the Legislature has ensured that taxpayers have an equal voice in the governance of both taxpayer-funded school systems.  view article arw

A battle is brewing over a bill seeking tax credits for Nebraska residents who donate to groups that award scholarships to private school students. The measure set for legislative debate is certain to open a rift among lawmakers, who have rejected similar proposals in the past even though most other states already subsidize private or charter schools. view article arw

AUSTIN -- Texans would see lower school property taxes in two ways under a Senate plan unveiled Wednesday, provided that lawmakers pass a tax-swap bill that yields billions more to cut property levies more deeply.  The homestead exemption on school districts' taxes would increase to $40,000, from $25,000.  By 2021, schools would be required to shave 15 cents per $100 valuation off their main tax levy. Under a House-passed plan, it would go down only by a minimum 4 cents per $100 valuation. view article arw

Texas lawmakers have given property tax reform top billing this legislative session, and they agree that tamping down school taxes is the best way to lower Texans’ tax bills. That’s because school taxes make up more than half the total property taxes in the state. And the average school district tax rate has slightly and gradually increasedsince 2006, though skyrocketing local property values across the state are the main reason why the average tax bill gets higher and higher. But figuring out how to limit that portion of the tax bill has proven monumentally complicated. Three-quarters of the way through the legislative session, lawmakers agree on how much they want to spend on tax relief but are still juggling several proposals, including some that would not provide any help. And it’s unclear whether some of the people backing certain ideas understand how the school tax system works. view article arw

Henderson County commissioners approved tax-resale deeds for nine properties on Tuesday, bringing the Eustace ISD closer to getting long-vacant lots back on the tax rolls. “Eustace ISD is about to be cleared of its backlog of lots,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Scott Tuley said. Lauren Montgomery of Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson handles the property tax accounts for EISD. Montgomery said she has a packet with the sale of 98 more properties almost ready for commissioners. view article arw

Texas makes mess of taxes

May 1607:45 AM
 

Count on the Texas Legislature to come up with a painfully complicated and inefficient way to repeal a painfully complicated and inefficient tax. Lawmakers deserve praise for targeting the Texas Franchise Tax, but their methods are unsound. The franchise tax, also called the margins or business tax, ranks consistently as one of the worst taxes anywhere in the country. It was the convoluted response to the Texas Supreme Court declaring the public school finance system unconstitutional. Lawmakers had to lower property taxes to comply with the court order, so to find replacement funds they rewrote the franchise tax, what businesses pay for the privilege to operate in our great state. view article arw

The Dallas school board Thursday night voted against putting a tax ratification election before voters this fall. The proposed 13-cent tax hike would have given the district $100 million to fund early childhood education and early college high school programs. The district also wanted to expand a program that pays extra money to top teachers who take jobs in some of the district’s toughest schools. view article arw

Trustees of the Wylie Independent School District proposed a tax rate of $1.13 per $100 of property value for the 2016-17 fiscal year — a tax cut of 2.4 cents — and added more money to the proposed budget for teachers' salaries during Monday's regular board meeting. Trustees conducted their third of three workshops for the 2016-17 budget of $32.340 million and set a special meeting for Monday, Aug. 29, at 6:30 p.m. to receive comments from the public on the budget and tax rate and then consider approval. view article arw

Kilgore ISD tax rate in the air

June 2407:38 AM
 

School trustees in Kilgore began their budget-writing season Monday with an overview of what is and isn’t known about financing the 2014-15 school year. view article arw