New bill set to limit property tax growth, give voters control

New bill set to limit property tax growth, give voters control

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

For the first time in nearly half a century, there is real property tax reform in Texas.

While the historic bill signed by Gov. Abbott will not lower the rates, it will halt the steady increases homeowners have seen for several years.

In addition, it will require tax rates and other information to be posted in a user-friendly, accessible database for each citizen to see.

One of the authors of Senate Bill 2, Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock), said this means cities and counties will no longer be able to conceal their intentions with property tax revenue. 

"This new transparency will tell them how much their taxes are being increased by actual dollars and cents, where that second meeting is, and how they can be engaged and actually have a dialogue with their mayors, council members, and county judges about why they need the extra money, and if they want to support it or not. That feedback will be welcome as part of the democratic process," Rep. Burrows said.

In addition, voters will now have the opportunity to reject a potential increase in their area.

"If a city or county wants to go up by a year of 3.5%, they're going to have to go to the voters automatically, and the voters have an automatic right to vote. That's something I think taxpayers can celebrate coming out of this session," Rep. Burrows said.

Rep. Burrows said he hoped to reduce the rates overall, but ultimately, he added this bill is a feat the legislature has not achieved in 40 to 50 years.

"Was it perfect? No, I wouldn't tell anyone that. I already have a list of things I want to go back and tweak next time, but as far as the groundwork that has actually been done, it has been historic in the sense that we haven't done it in that long of a period of time," Rep. Burrows said.

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