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Texas State Constitution amendment proposals impacting property tax on May 7 ballot

Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 8:47 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Early voting begins Monday, April 25 for the May 7 Election. It is not only for cities and schools but for all Texas voters to decide on two proposals to change the state constitution.

The two propositions come from second and third special sessions of the 87th Legislature.

“We got to the end of session, looked up and saw we were better off and we did the base budget of about $248 billion,” Senator Charles Perry said. “Between that day in May, when we could spend $248 billion and feel good about that, to the third special session, we were looking at $260 billion with increases. We gained money as time elapsed, and we spent the money on the taxpayer.”

Perry said the additional funds obtained by an improving economy and the federal government would allow the State to offset any local dollars school districts would lose from the passage of these amendments. Both pertain to school district property tax bills.

Proposition 1, according to Perry, is a fix to an oversight from previous measures by the legislature to compress school tax rates through House Bill 3 in 2019. Those who are over the age of 65 or disabled would see a proportional reduction of their school district’s tax rate, which they did not experience like other property owners.

“If you’re 65 or older, most school districts across the state have frozen your tax bill,” Perry said. “When we compress those rates by buying down those rates, we didn’t consider those people that were in the frozen category. They really got no benefit of the buy down. What Prop 1 does, it says you should be a beneficiary of any buy downs, even though you’re frozen.”

Lawmakers anticipate this would save those exempt taxpayers an average of $110 dollars in 2024 and $125 in 2025.

Proposition 2 has to do with the homestead exemption. If it passes, starting this year the school district taxable value exemption would increase from $25,000 to $40,000.

“If you’ve got a value of $100,000, then instead of being $75,000 taxable value by virtue of the homestead exemption, it will go to $60,000,” Perry said. “So, it’s an immediate $15,000 decrease in taxable valuation.”

It’s expected the average taxpayer with the homestead exemption would save $175 per year.

For voting information, click here to view the Secretary of State website.

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