Major property tax reform appears to be on the horizon.
In response to growing public angst over soaring property tax bills, leaders in the Texas House are proposing House Bill 15, the Property Taxpayer Empowerment Act. Among other things, the bill would lower the rollback tax rate from 8 percent to 4 percent and require an automatic election if the threshold is exceeded. The bill also includes some strong accountability and transparency measures, including the creation of a statewide database allowing individuals to see how each taxing jurisdiction’s proposed tax rate would affect their tax bill.
For many, taxpayer-centered reforms like these can’t come soon enough as property taxes continue to grow faster than people’s ability to afford them. From 2000 to 2015, population and inflation increased by a combined 82 percent. In contrast, property taxes levied statewide soared by 132 percent over the same period, pummeling homeowners and businesses in the process.
And without strong legislative reforms, those figures will only continue to get worse.