EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – During Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s State of the State address Thursday, he announced that he plans to cut property taxes statewide, saying that the cut would be the largest in the history of the state.

“One thing I hear loud and clear: Property taxes are suffocating Texans. We must fix that this session,” Abbott said.

Abbott is proposed using $15 billion from the state’s surplus budget to cut property taxes to hopefully provide lasting tax relief. Part of that proposal includes maintaining existing tax cuts to public schools.

But schools instead would used state money to fund them, which lowers the amount that needs to be collected.

KTSM reached out to state Sen. Cesar Blanco, D-El Paso, about his thoughts on Abbott’s announcement and he sent the following statement.

“Providing economic relief to families is a top priority for me. El Pasoans are feeling the pinch with high inflation and skyrocketing property taxes. El Pasoans need and deserve property tax relief, and with this biennium’s historic budget surplus, the Texas Legislature has the power to do just that. Legislation has already been proposed to raise the homestead exemption to $70k and the proposed budget includes $15 billion for more property tax relief. But we also need to look at broader tax relief, like cutting a portion of the state sales tax and fully funding our public schools to lower local taxes, so all El Pasoans and Texans can get some economic relief.”

KTSM also reached out to State Rep. Lina Ortega, D-El Paso, and she also sent a statement about the proposed tax cuts that says,

“Property tax cuts are needed in our community, especially with ongoing inflation. Property tax cuts are feasible. The State will need to provide the rest of the money in order to make up for the local share of public education. It is my hope that additionally we focus on funding for vital priorities, including healthcare and transportation, within the State’s budget.”

El Pasoan Ken Gorski says reduced property taxes would not affect him because of his tax bracket, but cuts would benefit first-time homeowners and others.

“If you’re on a fixed income, I can see where that can be an issue. For other families just starting out, it probably would be a big boost to them to get their foot in the door on first-time homes,” he said.

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