EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Texas state Senate unanimously passed bills that would bring property tax relief to Texas homeowners.
The tax cuts would work by the state putting money towards public education which would then provide relief for homeowners.
Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, was the lead author on the legislation passed by the Senate. He spoke with KTSM 9 News about how the tax relief will work.
“The State picks up more of its share of public education by picking up the costs of the tax relief so the school districts aren’t affected so it’s a win, win,” Bettencourt said.
Bettencourt says the money for the schools is coming from Texas’s general fund, what he calls a “surplus.”
The three bills passed by the Senate will now head to the House of Representatives and if passed, voters will be able to vote on the property tax relief in November.
Bettencourt explained that there is additional tax relief for seniors who own homes.
“If they vote November, they’ll get a tax break immediately on their tax bill in November of this year of $800 and if they’re over 65, $1,062,” Bettencourt said.
“Many homeowners don’t even have children that are attending schools anymore so especially people that are older or are fixed income,” said El Paso homeowner Cheryl Coulter.
State Rep. Claudia Ordaz, D-El Paso, says it’s the largest reduction in state history.
“In total it’s going to be about a $17 billion package, at least in the House that we are discussing in property tax relief, and as I mentioned this is the largest reduction in state history,” Ordaz said.
Ordaz says the House, Senate and governor are agreeing when it comes to property tax relief for Texans.
“Everyone really is on the same page when we’re talking about what we’re going to do with that surplus because we are hearing it from our constituents that property taxes is the number one issue that is important to them,” Ordaz said.
Ordaz said in the House, there is a bill that proposes lowering the appraisal cap from 10 percent to 5 percent.
“We’re always hearing issues about our Central Appraisal District, the appraisals that come in, values are going up and the taxes too, so people and working families are feeling that pinch,” Ordaz said.
The El Paso Central Appraisal District said it was too early to comment on the bills.
“There’s all kinds of bills out there right now and I’ll be honest with you, it’s a little too early to try and figure out what’s going to happen,” said Dinah Kilgore, Chief Appraiser for the El Paso Central Appraisal District.