Tax Relief

Constitutional Amendments To Present Property Tax Aid by State Senator Lois W. Kolkhorst | opinion

With appraisal values ​​constantly climbing across Texas, my office is often approached by constituents about the dire need for property tax relief. Some longtime homeowners even face being taxed out of their homes. Fortunately there is something we can all do in the weeks ahead to take action against these sky-high appraisals.

Property tax relief is possible, but your vote is necessary to make it happen. Potential help will come in the form of two proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution, both of which will appear on the ballot for the May 7, 2022 election. If approved, these amendments could save the average homeowner up to $300 per year.

Proposition 1 stems from Senate Joint Resolution 2, which I authored with Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) during the second Special Session. The idea for SJR 2 came from a constituent in Senate District 18 and I was proud to work with many local homeowners to pass this legislation.

To use plain English, this proposition will compress the tax rate for school maintenance and operations (M&O) for homeowners with a 65+ or disabled exemption, just as HB 3 already did for other homeowners back in 2019. Your tax rates for school taxes ( M&O) are going down because we passed HB 3. This will help seniors receive the same benefit.

While the legalese wording is difficult to understand, my vote will be an enthusiastic YES – let’s put some of those property tax dollars back in the pockets of the homeowners.

The additional proposal, Proposition 2, is much shorter and easy to understand. It proposes an increase in the residence homestead exemption from property taxes for public school purposes from $25,000 to $40,000. This is a badly needed adjustment and I was proud to also co-author this legislation with Sen. Bettencourt last year.

This will be a savings to the average homeowner of $200 or more per year.

If approved by voters, both of these constitutional amendments will relieve pressure from the homeowner’s wallet while ensuring our schools are properly funded.

While both Propositions are a move in the right direction, I fully recognize that these measures are not nearly enough. That is why I also filed SJR 31 last session. Although it did not pass, this joint resolution would have lowered the homestead appraisal cap from 10% annual increase to 5%. With the lower cap, fewer homeowners will have to navigate the protest process. Next session, I will again file this joint resolution to lower the homestead appraisal cap, to offer major relief from a flawed system.

My own family pays significant property taxes like so many of my constituents. We feel the same dread whenever those annual appraisals arrive in the mail. Please join me to take action and Vote YES May 7, 2022 on Prop 1 and Prop 2.

It is imperative to fight for lower property while continuing to invest in education taxes. So many of our freedoms flow from the ability to own private property.

Related Articles