As the economy emerges from the pandemic, several states are cutting their income taxes to further stimulate economic growth. There is no such problem in income tax-free Texas, but the focus here is on property taxes, which continue to rise for many people. In 2019, the state passed law limiting growth in property tax rates, but lawmakers and economists agree that more needs to be done. “A lot of people can’t buy a home because property taxes are skyrocketing, and many lose their home on the other hand,” said Vance Ginn, chief economist for the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “This is an unfortunate situation that I hope lawmakers will do something with.”
Capping interest rates was a good start, but Ginn says lawmakers need to go further now. “I think a lot of taxpayers want a lower tax bill, so when they look at their bill it actually goes down,” he told KTRH. “Working on ways to find ways to lower property taxes … that should be the key in every legislature’s mind during the special session.”
Ginn hopes the special session will bring some relief to Texas real estate owners. “We don’t have time to wait until the next regular legislative period, which won’t take place before 2023,” he says. “You have the ability to do something now, there are excess dollars now to do these things, and the will to do them should be there.”
Some lawmakers do just that. Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) has tabled two property tax relief bills, both of which were resolved in committee.