Property tax cap bill advances to Texas Senate

Texas Politics
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AUSTIN (KXAN) — A bill that aims to limit property tax growth in Texas is moving forward at the State Capitol.

The Senate Property Tax Committee voted late Monday afternoon to send Senate Bill 2 to the full Texas Senate for consideration. The bill would set a 2.5 percent cap on annual property tax growth. Anything above that level would require voter approval.

The vote came after committee members, led by chairman Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), added 15 amendments to the bill. One key amendment would allow small cities and other small taxing entities to opt-in to the cap with an election. The legislation exempts smaller local governments from the property tax cap. The amendment would give local voters an option to implement the cap.

Four members of the five-member committee voted to send SB2 to the full Senate. The lone Democrat on the committee, Sen. Juan Hinojosa (D-McAllen), was present, but did not vote.

“I really like 97.5 percent of the bill. It’s the 2.5 percent I got problems with,” Hinojosa joked, as Chairman Bettencourt laughed loudly. 

Hinojosa voiced concerns before the committee’s final vote that the cap is too low and could hurt cities school districts, and local governments. 

“I think 8 percent is too high,” Hinojosa said, referring to the cap under current state law. “But I think 2.5 percent is too low.”

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