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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
July 12, 2021
Contact: Cristie Strake
(512) 463-0107
Sen Bettencourt's Property Tax Relief Bills SB8, SB12 & SJR4 Pass Local Gov 8-0 & Move to Full Senate
Grants homeowners 1st Yr Homestead exemptions & enhances over 65 & disabled homeowners "freeze" value!

UPDATE: Austin, TX – Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) passes SB 8, SB 12, and SJR 4 out of Senate Local Government unanimously at the hearing held on Saturday July 10, 2021. These bills are designed to build upon the property tax reform and relief and school finance reform efforts from the past sessions and have a dozen bipartisan co-authors.

"Property tax relief has been one of my top priorities since I was elected to the Texas Senate in 2014," said Senator Bettencourt. "These bills will provide much needed relief to homeowners for first year homestead exemptions and those over 65 or disabled!" he added. "SB8 will address a longstanding issue in Texas that prohibits homeowners from tax savings in their first year of home ownership!"

Back in 2005, the Texas Legislature passed a school tax compression like passed in HB 3 during the 86th Legislative Session. In 2007, the Legislature passed a constitutional amendment that was approved by voters to compress the tax rate for those individuals with an over 65 or disabled exemption. These bills are following the same pattern now, as followed then, so that all Texas homeowners will receive the benefit of tax rate reduction provided in HB3.

These bills make the following key changes:

  • SB 8 by Senator Bettencourt - gives homeowner benefit of the resident homestead exemption the first year of acquiring your property instead of having to wait until January 1st of the following year for the exemption to take effect. This bill has 11 bipartisan co-authors.
  • SB 12 by Senator Bettencourt & Senators Kolkhorst - SB12 is the enabling legislation and SJR 4 is the constitutional amendment. These bills will provide school Maintenance & Operation tax rate reduction for over 65 and disabled homeowners that are capped due to their tax ceiling adjustment. Co-authors include Senator Hinojosa (D- McAllen) and Senator Lucio (D- Brownsville)

"Property tax relief has been a major priority of Lt Gov Patrick, myself, and other members for years," said Senator Bettencourt. "I'm happy to see it added to the 87th Special Session By Governor Abbott as these bills will provide over Two Hundred Million dollars of property tax relief," he said.

"I want the thank the members of the Local Government committee for the bipartisan unanimous support!" he concluded.

** SB 8 co-authors - Senators Campbell, Creighton, Hall, Hancock, Hinojosa, Kolkhorst, Lucio, Nichols, Perry, Springer, and Taylor