Tax Relief

Texans want tax breaks: State Sen. César Blanco

Texas property taxes are higher than any other state except for a handful. Far West Texans and people across the state are struggling to keep up with rising property tax rates, especially during and after the financial distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. People shouldn’t have to choose between keeping their home, getting their medication, or putting their food on the table, and we need relief.

According to a study by the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy, El Paso has the second highest property tax rate among the 50 largest US cities. Affordable housing makes home ownership more accessible to our region, but it also means higher property tax rates in order to generate sufficient income for the municipalities. Additionally, Texas property taxes have far exceeded inflation and undermined the purchasing power of the average Texan.

More: El Paso’s property tax rate is among the highest in the country. Here’s why.

Given the economic impact of the pandemic and the resulting rise in unemployment, relief is more important than ever. Because of this, I have supported the bipartisan passage of several property tax breaks to give Texans more purchasing power, control skyrocketing property tax rates, and ensure Texans can still afford their homesteads.

I recently voted for a constitutional amendment, SJR 2, and its enabling bill, Senate Act 1, to give Texas homeowners a $ 2 billion land tax break. Homeowners can vote on this proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot box in May 2022. If the change passes, homestead exemptions for school district property taxes will increase from $ 25,000 to $ 40,000, and the average Texas homeowner will save about $ 176 on their property tax. That’s an additional $ 176 that Texans can use to pay for other necessities like health care and transportation.

In addition to supporting the passage of SB 1 during the third special session, in the second special session I co-authored Senate Bills 8 and 12 to give property tax breaks to approximately 2.5 million Texans. SB 8 addresses a long-standing problem in Texas that prohibits homeowners from making tax savings in the first year of their home ownership. It is estimated that this bill will provide $ 600 million biennial homeowners in first year homestead exemption relief, allowing more first-time home buyers in Texas.

The story goes on

More: Texas’s tax burden is heaviest on El Paso’s poorest residents. Debt increases that burden.

The proposed constitutional amendment in SJR 2 and the Enabling Legislation, SB 12, will provide tax rate reductions for homeowners over 65 or disabled. Homeowners can also vote on this change on the ballot box in May 2022. If the change is passed, the average homeowner over 65 will save about $ 125 a year and see the tax rate cut increase every year. SB8 helps ensure that people with disabilities and the elderly continue to have a roof over their heads.

While the bills we passed were a good start, we still have more work to do to control property taxes and improve the Texas appraisal system. Homeowners across the state are concerned about being forced out of their homes due to prohibitive property tax rates. That is not right. The state needs to invest more in public education and lower property taxes for schools, and we need to keep increasing the homestead allowances. We need more bills like House Bill 3 from 2019, which allowed property tax relief by buying property taxes for schools.

We need to keep moving forward and push for solutions to give Texans the tax breaks they need. As your Senator, I will continue to fight for lower property taxes for all Texans.

State food. Cesar Blanco, D-El Paso, represents District 29.

This article originally appeared in the El Paso Times: Texans Need Tax Break: Senator César Blanco

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