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Texas Lawmakers Propose Competing Tax-Cut Packages, With Controversial Appraisal Cap Amendment Causing Concern Among Experts and Businesses

Tax cut package
Texas House passed tax-cut package. (Photo: Outlook)

Texas lawmakers are considering competing tax-cut packages, with the Texas House recently passing a $12 billion proposal aimed at giving property tax relief to Texas homeowners and businesses.

Tax cut package

Texas House passed tax-cut package. (Photo: Outlook)

Tax Relief for Texans

The House proposal is part of a $17 billion package that would provide tax relief by putting money into Texas school districts, allowing them to lower property taxes on home and business owners, according to a recently published article in The Texas Tribune.

However, one provision of the proposal has drawn substantial criticism from housing experts, business groups, and even some tax-cut proponents. The proposal aims to tighten the state’s “appraisal cap” on how much a home’s taxable value can rise each year. The House proposal would lower the cap from 10% to 5% and expand the benefit to owners of business properties such as grocery stores, restaurants, and apartment complexes.

While House Republican leaders have dismissed concerns about tightening the appraisal cap, experts warn that doing so would lead to major inequities among property owners and drive up housing costs. Critics also argue that cutting the appraisal cap wouldn’t meaningfully bring tax bills down because cities, counties, and school districts could just raise their tax rates to make up for any lost revenue.

READ ALSO: Texas Lawmakers Propose SNAP Benefits Pre-Release Registration For Formerly Incarcerated Individuals

Different Version of Texas Senate

In a published article in KVUE ABC, the Texas Senate, on the other hand, has a different proposal that includes raising the state’s homestead exemption from $40,000 to $70,000, giving an additional $20,000 bump to seniors, and giving tax credits to businesses. The Senate’s $16.5 billion property tax package passed the chamber last month but hasn’t yet gotten a hearing in the House.

The House’s proposal has passed a major hurdle by receiving a 140-9 vote, but it still must come back before the chamber for a final vote. If it clears both chambers, the question of whether to tighten the cap would go before voters at the November ballot box. While the House and Senate have different proposals, both chambers have agreed on devoting $5.3 billion to continue paying for tax cuts approved in the past.

READ ALSO: Texas Lawmakers Seek To Update Right To Farm Act To Protect Farmers From Urban Sprawl

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