Legislative Update: Property Tax Overhaul

January 17, 2018

Dear Friends,

Skyrocketing property taxes are now a full-blown property rights problem.

As a member of the Senate’s Select Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief, I’ve traveled the state hearing Texans of all walks of life share their personal stories of unreasonable tax hikes, incorrect appraisals, and impermeable layers of government red tape.

One couple, life-long Tarrant County residents who are approaching retirement, recently told me that they won’t be able to retire in their own, fully-bought-and-paid-for home unless something is done about their property tax bill — it’s gone up more than 70% in the past 8 years!

The statewide numbers tell a similar story. Over the past 20 years, property tax collections in Texas have increased by an astounding 195%.

It’s clear our property tax system doesn’t just need some tweaks here and there, it needs a full-blown overhaul.

That’s why I joint-authored the Property Tax Reform and Relief Act of 2017, which passed the Senate with strong support, but unfortunately didn’t make it through the House.

But we’re not done…

Today, Governor Abbott visited Tarrant County to announce his plan for sweeping changes to the property tax system in Texas. It was an honor to have him here in Senate District 9 as we discussed some of the critical steps that need to be taken next legislative session, including:

  • Establishing a property tax revenue growth cap of 2.5% per year. Any attempt to surpass this cap would be subject to a vote by the people.
  • Preventing the creation of any new taxing districts that duplicate the role of local governments. Special purpose taxing districts are duplicating government services and driving up property taxes.
  • Improving local debt transparency. Texas has the second highest per capita local debt burden in the nation! Local governments should publish their debt obligations, and any new local debt should be taken to a public vote.

You can click here to read the whole plan. And please don’t hesitate to contact our team to share your stories and your thoughts on these reform efforts.

Sincerely,

Kelly Hancock
State Senator, District 9
Chairman, Business & Commerce


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