Senator Bettencourt’s Property Tax Relief Bills SB8, SB12 & SJR4 Pass 22-0 Through The Full Senate

Austin, TX – Senator Bettencourt (R-Houston) passes SB 8, SB 12, and SJR 4 out of the Senate unanimously to give property tax relief to homeowners. The bills are designed to build upon property tax reform and relief and school finance reform efforts from the past sessions. Coauthors of SB8 include 19 bipartisan Senators, Birdwell, Buckingham, Campbell, Creighton, Hall, Hancock, Hinojosa, Huffman, Kolkhorst, Lucio, Nelson, Nichols, Paxton, Perry, Schwertner, Seliger, Springer, Taylor and Whitmire. SB12 & SJR4 bipartisan joint/coauthors are Senators Birdwell, Buckingham, Campbell, Creighton, Hall, Hancock, Hinojosa, Huffman, Lucio, Nelson, Nichols, Seliger and Taylor.

“Property tax relief has been one of my top priorities since I was elected to the Texas Senate in 2014 and one that is very important to constituents of Texas,” said Senator Bettencourt. “These bills will provide much needed relief to homeowners for first year homestead exemptions and those over 65 or disabled!” he added. “SB8 will address a longstanding issue in Texas that prohibits homeowners getting hundreds or thousands of dollars of property tax relief in their first year of home ownership. Unfortunately, the House Democrats are not here to vote on the constitutional amendment to help 1.9M over 65 or disabled homeowners tax freeze before July 22nd, so we can not get this issue on the ballot in November,” he said.

Back in 2005, the Texas Legislature passed a school tax compression like passed in HB 3 during the 86th Legislative Session. In 2007, the Legislature passed a constitutional amendment that was approved by voters to compress the tax rate for those individuals with an over 65 or disabled exemption. These bills are following the same pattern now, as followed then, so that all Texas homeowners will receive the benefit of tax rate reduction provided by the Legislature in HB3.

These bills make the following key changes:

  • SB 8 by Senator Bettencourt – gives homeowner benefit of the resident homestead exemption the first year of acquiring your property instead of having to wait until January 1st of the following year for the exemption to take effect.
  • SB 12 by Senator Bettencourt & Senators Kolkhorst – SB12 is the enabling legislation and SJR 4 is the constitutional amendment. These bills will provide school Maintenance & Operation tax rate reduction for over 65 and disabled homeowners that are capped due to their tax ceiling adjustment.

“Property tax relief has been a major priority of Lt Gov Patrick, myself, and other members for years,” said Senator Bettencourt. “I want to thank the members of the Texas Senate that stayed in Texas to work for bipartisan unanimous support for these bills that will provide a quarter billion dollars of property tax relief for Texans,” he said. “I will file them again and again until the House Democrats return to the Call of the Governor for special session to get tax relief for the people of Texas,” he concluded.