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Texas Legislature Focuses on Property Taxes

by Foy Mitchell, Dallas, December 2020

 

Property taxes will again be at the forefront when the Texas 2021 legislative session convenes on January 12, 2021. Prefiling of bills began on November 9 with several legislative proposals relating to property tax, including swapping a portion of property taxes for sales tax and capping appraised values.

 

Here are some bills that POER is actively monitoring:

 

  • HB96 -- Limits values on homesteads, which could raise the tax burden on other classes of property.

  • HB203 -- Establishes an advisory committee to study a plan requiring public disclosure of real estate sales prices.

  • HB281 -- Provides for the election of ARB members.

  • HB283 -- Provides for the election of a chief appraiser.

  • HB288 -- Swaps a portion of a school district’s Maintenance & Operations property tax for a sales tax.

  • HJR8 -- Freezes a homestead value at the year of qualification.

  • HJR19 -- A constitutional amendment that exempts all or part of a residence homestead tax and requires the revenue to be replaced with state funds.

  • HJR30 -- A constitutional amendment allowing legislature to limit commercial values.

  • SB63 -- An omnibus bill that covers a number of administrative issues, among them requiring the ARB and/or the Chief Appraiser to perform certain duties within a specific time frame.

  • SB134 -- Allows comparables from other areas of the state to be used to determine median appraised values in an Equal and Uniform appeal.

The 2021 Legislative Session will end on May 31 unless the governor calls a special session. Legislation may be introduced up to 60 days from the start of the session so that means March 12 will be the last day to file bills. Under certain situations, legislation may be introduced later but to do so requires a 4/5th favorable vote of present, voting members.