The Texas Senate scored a big win yesterday for property taxpayers.
In the course of debating Senate Bill 1760—a bill to increase transparency and accountability in the local property tax system—Senators overwhelmingly approved the adoption of a floor amendment to require local governments to reach a higher voting threshold before raising property taxes.
More from the Dallas Morning News:
The Senate on Thursday voted to require that any local property tax increase raising more revenue than the previous year be approved by at least 60 percent of every city council, school board or county commissioners court in Texas. The new requirement was contained in an amendment offered by Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, to a property tax relief bill approved by the Senate.
Further, the state comptroller would be directed to annually compile and publish a list of tax rates by governmental entity, with the list ranking the entities and their tax rates from highest to lowest. Bill supporters said the list would deter local government officials from raising taxes every year.
Although local government officials are not expected to look favorably on this new taxpayer protection measure as it moves out of the Senate and into the House, the fact remains that this is a critical reform to a broken system. Texans simply can’t afford for the status quo to continue on as is (see: Ten Facts About Texas’ Property Tax).
All eyes are now on the Texas House.