Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 2 Wednesday, which delivers significant property tax reforms. The new law caps property tax increases without voter approval and provide tax reform to homeowners and businesses across Texas.
The bill lowers the property tax rollback rate to 3.5% for cities and counties. Any increase to this rollback rate in cities, counties and some special districts will require voter approval and automatically trigger a tax ratification election. The rollback rate will be renamed the voter approval tax rate going forward.
"We made it clear from the outset of this session that our goal was not to simply mask the problem of skyrocketing property taxes, but to make transformative changes that would provide meaningful and lasting reform," Abbott said. "Because of the work by legislators this session, we are ensuring that Texas remains the best state in the nation to live, work, start a business and raise a family. By signing Senate Bill 2 into law, we are making tremendous strides to provide long-awaited relief to Texas homeowners and businesses."
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The bill also requires taxing units to post their budgets, tax rates and tax rate calculation worksheets online. It makes numerous improvements to the appraisal and protest process, such as prohibiting an Appraisal Review Board from increasing the value of a taxpayer property above its initial value, increasing training requirements for ARB members and arbitrators, and entitling taxpayers to the evidence the appraisal district plans to present at their ARB hearing free of charge.
Abbott hosted the bill signing at Wally's Burger Express in Austin. Wally's Burger Express is a family-owned business founded in 1980 that has struggled to skyrocketing property taxes. Just this year, Wally's property taxes increased 44%.
The Governor was joined at the bill signing by Robert Mayfield, the owner of Wally's Burger Express, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen, State Reps. Dustin Burrows, Terry Canales, and John Zerwas, and State Sens. Kelly Hancock, Dawn Buckingham and Charles Perry.