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Governor, top Texas state leaders settle on property tax plan

January 31, 2019

AUSTIN — Top Texas leaders are rallying around a proposal to limit escalating property tax bills that vex homeowners, saying they want to set a 2.5-percent rollback rate on future increases proposed by school districts, cities and counties.

Although Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and the House and Senate leaders agree on the proposal, they are undecided about how to pay for the potential loss of revenue the property tax plan would have on schools. Under current law, the rollback rate is 8 percent, meaning cities, counties and other government entities can raise property taxes by up to that amount without triggering an election.

“I am unbelievably proud to see how the House and Senate have come together to address this issue,” said Gov. Greg Abbott, calling it unprecedented to have identical bills this early in the Legislative session.

The proposal would require voters to approve of school property tax increases higher than 2.5 percent, effectively tamping down escalating property tax growth. That’s different from a proposal Abbott made early last year that would have created a hard cap of 2.5 percent property tax revenue growth for schools, with the state contributing more education funding to make up the difference.

Lawmakers said they plan to propose property appraisal reforms in a separate proposal.

This is a developing story; check back for updates.

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