Protecting Texas Taxpayers: property tax reform, school finance remain top topics

Edgar's picture

The final month of the 86th Legislature is here: with an end date of May 27, we have less than three weeks remaining. Property tax reform and school finance remain top topics of discussion, something that is hardly news to loyal readers. I am happy to report these discussion have turned into legislative action.

The Senate version of the Texas Property Tax Reform and Relief Act of 2019 passed last month; the House passed its version last week. It now remains for the two chambers to agree on a final product. As Lt. Governor Dan Patrick put it at a recent press conference with the Governor and Speaker of the House, the Legislature is at the “5-yard line” with property tax reform. All that is left is one final push, scoring property tax relief for all Texans.

School finance, an issue interdependent with property taxes, remains the other large issue waiting on conclusion. As of writing, the Senate is slated to take up committee substitute House Bill 3, the school finance reform bill. The issue is immensely complex––featuring 250+ pages and 100+ potential amendments––and would require a few columns to truly describe in detail. Understand this: the process by which our schools are funded is unbalanced and outdated. It is our intention with this bill to revolutionize school finance, successfully fulfilling our constitutional duty to establish an “efficient system of public free schools.”



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