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Texas House Committee Passes Property Tax Reform Bill

The bill would cap the increase in property tax revenues at 2.5 percent per year. Governor Greg Abbott has designated the measure an emergency item for the legislative session.

How much money the state spends can be dictated by the Texas Comptroller.

Texas homeowners are a step closer to getting relief on their property taxes. The House Ways and Means Committee has approved a property tax reform measure, which Governor Greg Abbott considers an emergency item.

The House bill would limit the amount property taxes could rise each year to a rate of 2.5 percent. Anything above that would have to be approved by the voters. That's a big worry for local governments, for which property taxes are the main source of revenue.

"A 2.5 percent cap, I believe, has been demonstrated to put a severe restraint on a local government's ability to provide for some of the most basic services that the state doesn't provide when it comes to boots on the ground for public safety, emergency response and in some instances disaster preparedness," said State Representative Trey Martinez Fischer of San Antonio, who voted against the bill.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo have both issued similar statements opposing the measure. Following this week's city council meeting, Turner said he would be driving to Austin on Friday to meet with the governor to express his concerns.

Houston Senator Paul Bettencourt authored a similar bill, which was voted out of committee in the upper chamber last month. Both are now awaiting a floor vote in their respective chambers.


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