Texas Lawmakers Announce Bill to Rein in Local Property Tax Increases

AUSTIN -- Texas's top lawmakers and elected leaders announced the first leg of their plan to give property owners some tax relief by placing tough restrictions on local government budgets. On Thursday, Texas lawmakers filed identical companion bills to cap local property tax revenue for cities, counties and special taxing districts in one of the most far reaching proposals entertained by the Legislature in recent years. Companion bills filed by Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, and Rep. Dustin Burrows, R-Lubbock, would cap local property tax revenue growth at 2.5 percent a year. If a local governments want to exceed that cap to generate more revenue, it would go to voters for approval. For local governments, who pay for services ranging from public safety to filling pot holes, property taxes make up a significant portion of their budget. And local leaders say the caps will mean stifle their ability to adequately fund police and fire fighters.   Continue reading...

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