Houston, TX – Texas Republican Primary voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 10, patterned on Senate Bill 1, which called for property tax revenue increases of over 4% to obtain voter approval. Proposition 10 copied SB 1, authored by Senator Bettencourt (R-Houston) which was passed by the Texas Senate three times during the recent regular and special legislative sessions, but the 4% rollback rate was rejected by the Texas House.
“94% of the Republican voters are crying out for property tax relief,” said Senator Bettencourt. “Their opinion is crystal clear because property taxes throughout the state have been rising 2 to 3 times as fast as Texans ability to pay. The key component of Proposition 10, and Senate Bill 1, is not only a 4% increase, or rollback rate, but most importantly a taxpayer ratification election for any property tax increases above that level. Proposition 10, passing statewide with 94% of the vote shows that Texas taxpayers want to vote on property tax increases,” he added.
There were 11 propositions on the Republican Primary ballot, included a proposition calling for a swap from the property tax to a sales tax. However, Proposition 10, which called for a 4% rollback and an automatic election, passed with 94% and received the 2nd most number of overall votes. Proposition 10 finished just behind Proposition 8 which calls for voter fraud to be a felony. Proposition 1, a proposal to move from the property tax to a sales tax finished the lowest of the propositions at only a 67% pass rate.
Major metropolitan areas like Houston have seen astonishing property tax bill increases in just four years. For example, the average Houston home, with a value of around $235,000 will pay $4,924 in property taxes in 2017, up dramatically from $3,582 in 2013, a roughly 37% increase! “A $1,342 property tax bill increase, 37% in magnitude, has a real impact on the ability of an everyday Texan to own a home,” continued Senator Bettencourt. “These increases are happening all over the state. For example in Tarrant County, the increase was 30%, or $932, on a lower priced home,” he added.
“This 94% vote recognizes obvious that this rising property taxes are an everywhere problem for home and business owners and must be addressed in the next legislative session. The Texas Senate, led by Lt. Governor Patrick, has taken the lead on property tax reform and really has an ‘A Team’ list of candidates on the November ballot,” summarized Senator Bettencourt. “I am looking forward to a robust debate on property tax relief as this issue polls nearly as high with Independent and Democrat voters as well.”
The Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 1, the Texas Property Tax Reform and Relief Act, a total of three times during the previous regular and special legislative sessions. Unfortunately, the Texas House passed a 6% roll back version of the bill that only provided property tax relief to four counties. The House opted to adjourn a day early rather than appoint an SB 1 conference committee. “With the election of a new House Speaker I am optimistic that this will change,” concluded Senator Bettencourt, who also serves as the Chairman of the Texas Senate Republican Caucus.