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Seal of the Senate of the State of Texas
Welcome to the official website for the
Texas Senate
Senator Paul Bettencourt: District 7
Press Release
December 27, 2019
Contact: Robert Flanagan
(713) 464-0282
Sen Bettencourt Speaks On A Few Changes Taxpayers Should See On Tax Bill This Year
Texas taxpayers to see more meaningful relief from SB 2, HB 3, and HB 861

HOUSTON – Senator Bettencourt (R-Houston), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Property Tax, is offering clarity on what Texas taxpayers can expect with the implementation of a few pieces of property tax legislation passed in the 86th Session. Along with relief from Senate Bill 2, you should have noticed a reduction on your school property tax rate on this year’s tax bill due to the changes in School Finance funding passed in House Bill 3. “Flip over your property tax bill and check the 7% reduction in ISD M&O tax rates,” said Senator Bettencourt. “That’s the initial tax relief from HB3, plus SB2 property tax relief starts in 2020,” he added.

In addition, HB 861, passed unanimously in both chambers, authored by Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) and Rep. John Wray (R-Waxahachie) and sponsored by Senator Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) gives property owners 21 days to pay any outstanding taxes, resulting from a district court decision, before they are charged interest.

Prior to this bill, a property taxpayer who appealed an appraisal review board determination of their property's tax to district court would be liable for interest if the district court ruled that the taxpayer owed more than the taxpayer originally paid. "Taxpayers should not be punished with additional interested piled on top for appealing their tax bills," said Senator Bettencourt. "This legislation will give taxpayers a fair chance to pay what is owed." he added.

This provision applies only to property owners who withheld part of their outstanding property taxes pending an appeal to district court. Under current law, a property owner who appeals their tax bill to district court can withhold the amount of taxes due on the portion of the taxable value of the property that is not in dispute, or the amount of taxes due on the property under the order from which the appeal is taken, or the amount of taxes imposed on the property in the preceding tax year. An important change to note in this legislation is the ability to pay last years’ tax bill.

"Thanks to House Bill 861, a property owner will no longer need to pay any additional interest unless the outstanding taxes are not paid by the 21-day deadline.” added Senator Bettencourt.