FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 7, 2021
Austin, TX – Due to quick bill referral by Lt. Governor Patrick, Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) passes SB 8, SB 12, and SJR 2 out of Senate Local Government unanimously for the second time at the hearing held on Saturday August 7, 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 many bipartisan co-authors. The only changes from the first special session are in SB 12/SJR 2 to adjust the date of the election from November 2021 to November 2022 and the implementation date from January 1, 2022 to January 1, 2023 due to lack of quorum to pass the bills the first time in the House.
"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 over $600 million in relief per biennium to homeowners for first year homestead exemptions and those over 65 or disabled freeze value!" 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. “SB 12 will save all over 65 homeowners approx. 125 dollars a year on their tax statement, and higher in future years but the walkout by the House Democrat Caucus in the 1st Special Session means that this tax relief constitutional amendment vote by the public is delayed until November 2022.” Bettencourt added.
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 17 bipartisan co-authors.
- SB 12 by Senator Bettencourt & Senators Kolkhorst - SB12 is the enabling legislation and SJR 2 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. This bill has 16 bipartisan co-authors.
"Property tax relief has been a major priority of Lt Governor Patrick, myself, and other members for years," said Senator Bettencourt. "Thanks to Governor Abbott for once again adding property tax relief to Special Session 2.0," he concluded.