At a Texas Tribune event, Republican state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione said his vote to impeach Ken Paxton was akin to being a grand juror who found enough evidence to warrant a trial in the Senate.  A group of state lawmakers from North Texas weighed in Tuesday on the impeachment of suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton, the ongoing standoff over property tax cuts and other hot-button issues at the Capitol. view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas — As the legislative special session approaches its second week, a final deal on property tax cuts seemAUSTIN, Texas — As the legislative special session approaches its second week, a final deal on property tax cuts seems no closer to fruition, as Governor Greg Abbott doubles down on tax rate compression and offered his sharpest criticism yet of the Dan Patrick-backed homestead exemption increases.s no closer to fruition, as Governor Greg Abbott doubles down on tax rate compression and offered his sharpest criticism yet of the Dan Patrick-backed homestead exemption increases.  "Taxpayers are angry to see their property valuations & taxes increase every year," Gov. Abbott said in a tweet Monday morning. "Raising homestead exemptions evaporate after a few years of home valuation increases."  Abbott has long backed an outright end to property taxes in Texas, and he insinuated in his tweet that Patrick's homestead exemption would not culminate in such a move. Though just a tweet, Abbott's remarks are significant in that he had not yet directly criticized Patrick's homestead exemption proposal. view article arw

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, locked in a standoff with Abbott over their dueling tax cut plans, called Abbott's push to end property taxes 'a fantasy.' Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick dug in Friday on their dueling plans to cut property taxes, leaving no end in sight to an impasse that has dragged lawmakers into an overtime legislative session and sparked an unusually public clash between Texas’ conservative heavyweights. Abbott, speaking at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank, continued to stand behind his preferred approach, which would focus entirely on driving down school tax rates. He’s called it a “roadmap to end property taxes.” “Texans want to own their own property, not rent it from government. We must provide that by eliminating property taxes in Texas,” Abbott said, referring to the main component of school property taxes that pays for maintenance and operations. It seems a particularly tall order in Texas, a state that does not levy an income tax. Patrick called the idea “a fantasy" in an interview on conservative radio Thursday night. “The problem with that is, the first time the sales tax (revenue) drops in a down economy, then you don’t have the money to maintain it, so your property taxes would skyrocket,” Patrick said. “And secondly, we wouldn’t be able to pay our bills.” view article arw

n bold, right at the top of the Texas comptroller's web page devoted to property taxes, there's an intriguing declaration: "Texas has no property tax." Those words might make any Texan who has opened a property tax bill erupt in laughter or question their sanity. The truth is that the state exercises indirect control over property taxes that fund public schools, which make up most of the bill. With appraisals soaring across the state, and astronomically so in large swaths of major cities, the obfuscation isn't working anymore. Too many Texans are demanding relief and state leaders are trying to respond. They just can't agree on how. view article arw

The Tax Information Survey (TIS) for the 2022–2023 school year will be open for data submission June 1, 2023, and will close at midnight on August 31, 2023. If your district does not submit the survey by the deadline, your district’s state funding for the 2022–2023 school year could be adversely affected. Please do not submit any tax data related to the upcoming 2023 tax year (2023–2024 school year). The TIS is not applicable to charter schools. view article arw

Plan touted by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick more directly benefits homeowners, while Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan extends benefits of businesses, households with higher incomes. view article arw

Most Texas drivers will no longer be required to have their cars pass an annual safety exam after state lawmakers removed the rule from Texas code. Texas is one of 13 states that mandate annual inspections for cars. That will change in about 18 months now that the Texas Legislature has given final approval to House Bill 3297. Supporters of the bill called the safety inspections time consuming and inconvenient. Opponents of the bill say it could set Texas drivers, and future Texans, on a dangerous path. “The majority of our business is centered around making sure people’s vehicles are safe,” said Charissa Barnes, owner of the Official Inspection Station in San Antonio, to lawmakers earlier this year. “We need to make sure that their cars, the people joining us in Texas, are safe.” view article arw

When the Texas Legislature ended its regular session Monday without a deal on property taxes, it was unsurprising to see the House and Senate openly feuding with each other. The Senate’s presiding officer, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, has long dogged House leadership as too moderate and too slow to act on his chamber’s priorities. What came next, however, was far more unusual: Gov. Greg Abbott called a special session on cutting property taxes and asked lawmakers to focus exclusively on one method of relief. The House quickly obliged, but the Senate defied Abbott by passing a broader bill. And when Abbott issued a statement clearly siding with the House, Patrick erupted. In a statement, Patrick said Abbott “seems misinformed about the roles of the executive and legislative branches of government.” view article arw

Well, buckle up again. The Texas House and the Senate could not come to an agreement on property tax relief — in a surplus year, no less — so we’re now in the first of what will likely be multiple special sessions. Our conservative Legislature’s failure to relieve everyday Texans of their tax burden during the regular session defies justification and may well end up hobbling public schools and the families that depend on them. view article arw

State lawmakers have pushed bills to support fossil fuel-burning power plants and restrict renewable energy development this legislative session.   State Rep. Jared Patterson disagreed with his Republican colleague that Texas should keep supporting the booming renewable energy industry here. Rep. John Smithee was arguing on the House floor in early May that certain solar and wind farms should be eligible for school tax breaks. A similar program the state offered for the past 20 years drew renewable energy projects to rural parts of Texas, including Smithee’s Amarillo district. Patterson, whose district north of Dallas as of late last year had no wind turbines and barely any solar generation, shot back: Renewable power companies get enough help from federal tax credits already. view article arw

Texas leads the nation in renewable energy. Solar, wind and other renewables exclusively power businesses, colleges and even one town in the state. So, why can’t the state simply continue that trend and run on 100% renewable energy? Like any long-term relationship, it’s complicated, especially for a state that is rooted in fossil fuels. “One side certainly has a longer history and is potentially better connected,” said Felix Mormann, a professor at Texas A&M University’s Engineering Experiment Station, of the state’s long history with natural gas and other fossil fuels. “But the future belongs to the other side.” State lawmakers don’t see it that way, it would appear. view article arw

Later today, the Texas House is slated to debate a revised property tax relief proposal that, in essence, combines the differing proposals originally passed by the Senate and the House. Brandon Waltens has the details. view article arw

Later today, the Texas House is slated to debate a revised property tax relief proposal that, in essence, combines the differing proposals originally passed by the Senate and the House. Brandon Waltens has the details. view article arw

About 300 waterfront homes began paying municipal taxes in 2020 after Austin ended a tax exemption. They are again trying to reverse that decision. view article arw

Texas House lawmakers provided initial approval for a new legislative measure that creates another corporate welfare program, replacing the expired controversial Chapter 313 program that ended last year. “Today, we witnessed House lawmakers revive a corporate welfare program under the guise of needed economic development,” Jeramy Kitchen, executive director of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility told Texas Scorecard. House Bill 5 by State Rep. Todd Hunter (R–Corpus Christi)—one of Republican House Speaker Dade Phelan’s legislative priorities—gives corporations taxpayer-funded property tax breaks ostensibly in exchange for the creation of local jobs. The previous corporate welfare program, Chapter 313, allowed school districts to offer large tax breaks for 10 years to unreliable energy (which failed in the 2021 winter storm) and other businesses. The program expired at the end of 2022. view article arw

During the floor debate for a plan to replace the expired Chapter 313 program, House members added that the new version of the incentive must require companies to pay higher wages and create stiffer penalties for noncompliance. view article arw

The revival, and the billions of dollars in tax breaks it would provide, is a top priority of Republican House Speaker Dade Phelan and had faced little opposition from House members heading into Thursday's vote. The House approved the bill on a 118-22 vote and is expected to give it final approval Friday, after which it will head to the Senate. As it stands, HB 5 would carry over the same loose eligibility criteria that were a central criticism of Chapter 313, including a requirement that most projects easily clear, in which the tax breaks are a "determining factor" for them being placed in Texas over another place. A 2021 Chronicle investigation found many projects would have come to Texas regardless of the incentives, and that lawmakers had repeatedly weakened the program's job creation requirements. HB 5 would sweeten the deals even further by waiving all school district maintenance and operations taxes while a project is under construction. The tax break could kick in as soon as shovels hit the dirt and last up to 10 years, and that's on top of the baseline 10-year tax break offered under the program, which would start after construction is completed. view article arw

More than 100 Texas school districts have put a combined $25 billion in school bond debt on the May 6 ballot. All of the debt would have to be repaid, with interest, by local property taxpayers. Texas school districts already owe $104 billion in outstanding debt that local residents are obligated to repay with property taxes. Any new debt approved by voters will be added on top of current debt levels. Some school officials claim their new bond debt won’t raise taxes because the school district doesn’t plan to increase its property tax rate right away. Yet as property values rise, property owners’ tax bills increase even if the rate stays the same—a tax increase. view article arw

The Texas Legislature has about six weeks left to come up with a budget. Two of the big priorities are school funding and property tax relief. Those two issues are coming to a head in Fort Bend County, where voters are being asked to consider a bond that would raise the property tax rate to pay for district-wide improvements. It's been five years since Fort Bend ISD has asked voters to approve a bond, but this time, it is asking for more money than ever. The funds would pay for things the legislature doesn't, like new buildings, but it's a tough sell for some taxpayers who are banking on smaller bills. view article arw

Local political action committees are throwing their support behind longtime Fort Worth ISD trustee Tobi Jackson’s re-election campaign and fueling a bid for an upset in a west side school board race. More than $85,000 flowed into seven candidates’ coffers between Jan. 1 and March 27, according to campaign finance reports filed with Fort Worth ISD. Four candidates accepted donations from political action committees and law firms that have had contracts with the school district, while three did not receive any. view article arw

The largest tax cut in Texas history property tax bill, according to the Texas House, is a $17.3 billion plan to reduce property taxes.  The goal of the property tax bill, according to state Rep. Morgan Meyer, R-Dallas, is to lower assessed value ceilings for real property, extend assessed value caps to all authentic property, compress school district dues, and create an escrow feature. All property kinds are subject to a 5% yearly appraisal cap under House Bill 2. Reducing the tax rate by 25 cents by 2025 also reduces school district property tax bill, which makes up the majority of a homeowner’s tax payment. view article arw

House Speaker Dade Phelan has said tightening the appraisal cap is the best way to cut property taxes, but Senate tax-cut proponents, housing experts and business groups predict the move would have dire consequences.A $12 billion proposal aimed at giving property tax relief to Texas homeowners and businesses cleared a major hurdle Friday in the Texas House, setting up a showdown with the Senate over their warring tax-cut packages.  House Bill 2 — backed by House Speaker Dade Phelan and carried by state Rep. Morgan Meyer, both Republicans — passed the full House by a 139-5 vote after gaining initial approval from the chamber the previous day.  The bill proposes pumping $12 billion into Texas school districts so that they, in turn, can lower their property taxes on home and business owners. For the owner of a $350,000 home, the package would result in more than $1,000 in savings over two years, according to Phelan’s office. view article arw

A $12 billion proposal aimed at giving property tax relief to Texas homeowners and businesses cleared a major hurdle Thursday in the Texas House, setting up a showdown with the Senate over their warring tax-cut packages. House Bill 2 — backed by House Speaker Dade Phelan and carried by state Rep. Morgan Meyer, both Republicans — passed the full House by a 140-9 vote. It still must come back before the chamber for a final vote. view article arw

School districts across Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy counties banded together in an attempt to change legislation that affects taxes and South Texas ISD funding. State Rep. Sergio Muñoz (D-Palmview) recently introduced two bills that could set those changes into motion. In January, Mission CISD and Sharyland ISD joined about 20 RGV districts in passing a resolution to avoid what they call a tax duplication. The resolution refers to an extra tax (a maximum of 5 cents) residents pay to South Texas ISD, regardless if they enrolled a child in the district. Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy counties are the only three counties in the state to have this type of tax authority, which has been in place since the 1960s. view article arw

Kilgore ISD taxpayers have a May 1 deadline to submit a claim as part of an agreement between the district and plaintiffs in a multi-year litigation settlement. As outlined in the agreement filed and submitted by the plaintiffs’ attorneys, taxpayers wishing to recover their pro rata share of the maximum settlement amount that has been calculated for them, must follow specific claim procedures and provide satisfactory proof of identity online through a website administered by a third party. view article arw

Independent school districts around North Texas are beginning to prepare for their next fiscal budget, but some districts in the area could get less funding than they hoped for. According to the Allen American, Allen ISD passed a resolution protesting the comptroller’s 2022 property value study. The Collin County Appraisal District values Allen ISD at around $19 billion. But a state assessment valued Allen ISD at around $2 billion higher — meaning the state will not have to give Allen ISD as much funding. view article arw

As Allen ISD gears up for another budget season, it recently passed a resolution protesting against the comptroller’s 2022 property value study for Allen ISD. Government Code Section 403.302 requires the state comptroller’s office to conduct a school district ratio study to determine the total taxable value of all property in each school district at least once every two years, and 2022 was one of the required years. view article arw

COLLEGE STATION (Texas Real Estate Research Center) – Texas’ housing market slowed in February after persistently low mortgage interest rates contributed to record sales in the existing-home sector the previous month. "Sales activity was greatly hindered by February’s unseasonably wintery weather that caused power outages and water disruptions across the state," said Dr. Luis Torres, research economist for the Texas Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University. Existing-homes sold through the Texas Multiple Listing Services declined 16 percent from January, drawing even with year-ago levels. Despite slower sales, the state’s existing-home inventory fell below 1.5 months in February. The number of new listings that hit the market declined for the second straight month to their lowest reading since April 2020, when the state was under a stay-at-home mandate. 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