Legislature passes property tax, school finance reform

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CAPITAL HIGHLIGHTS

While the Memorial Day holiday was observed across Texas, lawmakers stayed busy at the state Capitol, voting on key bills in the final three days of the 86th Texas Legislature’s 140-day regular session.

Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen did what they jointly set out to do at the beginning of the session in January. They exercised their leadership skills well enough for the Senate and House to pass property tax reform (Senate Bill 2) and school finance reform (House Bill 3), and to pass a state budget for fiscal years 2020-2021 (House Bill 1).

The Legislature is constitutionally mandated to pass a state budget every two years. HB 1, the state budget written by House Appropriations Committee Chair John Zerwas, R-Richmond, and sponsored by Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, contains $250.6 billion in spending. The two-year budget is subject to certification by the state comptroller. The governor has until June 16 to sign or veto any bill or veto any line item within HB 1.

SB 2, titled the “Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act of 2019,” amends the property tax appraisal and rate-setting processes. Lt. Gov. Patrick called it the first property tax reform in 40 years. “It will provide an average of $200 in property tax relief this year on a $250,000 home,” Patrick said.

 

 

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