The Texas Public Policy Foundation released a new bold plan today to address the problem of having one of the highest property tax burdens in the country so that Texans can own more of their home and future. This approach would lower property taxes for all Texans by nearly half either immediately or over time to effectively lower property tax bills, which more than 70% of Texans said they want in a recent TPPF poll. By reining in government spending, the Texas Legislature can replace school district maintenance and operations (M&O) property taxes with a redesign of the tax system to one that is based more on fairer, more efficient, and more transparent sales taxes and cut other taxes over time. This bold plan would help lift a large part of the hefty burden of property taxes from the backs of Texans who have labored under high property taxes for far too long.
“Local governments are taxing Texans out of their homes. This deeply unfair situation must be made right—and soon. Texans are eager for big, transformative changes from our state leaders ,” said James Quintero, policy director for the TPPF’s Government for the People initiative. “We need the Texas Legislature to go B-I-G. The “Lower Taxes, Better Texas” plan provides options to cut property taxes in nearly half and redesign our tax system to protect taxpayers, provide a fairer tax system, and grow our economy.”
This proposal would provide tangible relief to Texas homeowners, especially lower-income homeowners. Local governments cannot continue to game the system to punish taxpayers and push tax revenue to unsustainable levels every year, a pattern of behavior that this proposal would help stop.
“Local property taxes have been growing faster than the average taxpayer’s ability to pay for them, which places an undue burden on Texans and stifles economic growth. Elevated and rising property taxes limit Texans’ opportunities to save, invest, and leave a legacy for future generations,” added Vance Ginn, TPPF’s chief economist. “They also pose an obstacle to prospective homebuyers on the front-end and threaten to tax existing homeowners out of their properties on the back-end. These problems are, of course, rooted in excessive local government spending which continues to skyrocket largely uninhibited, keeping Texans from reaching their full potential. It is time for bold action to cut property tax bills and unleash prosperity.”
“Texans are fed up with paying exorbitantly high property taxes. The small steps that have been taken to reduce these taxes have been completely eclipsed by how quickly these taxes have grown—far more than the average Texan’s ability to pay,” concluded E.J Antoni, economist at TPPF. “By providing real tax cuts and a more vibrant economy with a fairer, more transparent, and efficient form of taxation through the elimination of nearly half of property taxes, Texas will be the beacon of freedom and prosperity for generations to come.”
- Local property taxes in Texas have been growing faster than the average taxpayer’s ability to pay for them, which places an undue burden on Texans and stifles the state’s economy.
- Elevated and rising property taxes limit Texans’ opportunities to save, invest, and leave a legacy for future generations. They also too often stop Texans from purchasing a house or even force many out of their home.
- Based on the inefficiency, cost, and inequities of Texas’s property tax system, we recommend a bold approach to substantially reduce and remove nearly half of this burden.
- Following the recommendations outlined here, Texas can unleash greater economic prosperity.