Last week, the House of Representatives passed HB 3, a bill aimed at reforming school finance and property taxes. Of the $9 billion of funding in HB 3, $3 billion is directed to go toward property tax relief.
HB 3 seeks to lower property taxes by lowering school district property tax rates and requiring that voters approve tax rate increases greater than $1.01, which is three cents lower than the current law.
The Senate passed its overall budget on April 9, which includes $2.7 billion to pay for local property tax cuts. The Senate still has to decide how they will use that money to provide relief.
On April 15, the House heard HB 2, called the Texas Taxpayer Transparency Act of 2019, which aims to reform the property tax system.
HB 2 includes requiring voter approval for property tax increases greater than 2.5 percent compared to the previous year, changing the property tax appraisal process, and increasing the transparency of proposed property tax rate changes.
The Senate’s property tax reform bill, SB 2 or the Property Tax Reform and Relief Act of 2019, also includes voter approval for property tax increases greater than 2.5 percent. SB 2 would also create an online tax rate notice that would alert property owners of new tax rate proposals.
This website will show whether these new tax rates are higher or lower than current property tax rates, and whether or not an election would be held if the tax increase is greater than 2.5 percent.