FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2021
Austin, TX – The Texas House passes SB 8 & SB 12, on motions by House Ways and Means Chair and House Sponsor Morgan Meyer on a bipartisan unanimous vote of 121-0. SJR 2 also passed by a vote of 116-0. These bills were filed by Senator Bettencourt to build upon the property tax reform and relief, and school finance reform efforts from past sessions with a large number of bipartisan co-authors and co-sponsors.
"These bills provide property tax relief to approximately 2.25 million Texas homeowners," said Senator Bettencourt. "My estimate is they will provide $600 million in relief per biennium to homeowners for first year homestead exemptions and those over the age of 65 actual freeze value!" he added. "SB 8 will address a longstanding issue in Texas that prohibits homeowners from tax savings in their first year of home ownership and SB 12 will provide an actual cut in freeze values on tax bills!"
Back in 2005, the Texas Legislature passed a school tax compression similar to HB 3 that passed 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 the tax rate reduction provided in HB 3. “SB 12 will save an average over 65 homeowner approximately 125 dollars a year an then it will escalate rapidly on their future year property tax bills... Because of the lack of quorum in the 1st Special Session the SJR2 date for voter approval had to be pushed from this November to the next election in May 2022 for constitutional amendments.” Bettencourt added. "Therefore, over 65 taxpayers will not see this reduction effective until 2023 but it will start then and increase every year thereafter," he said.
These bills make the following key changes:
- SB 8 by Senator Bettencourt - gives homeowners the benefit of the resident homestead exemption the first year of acquiring a property instead of having to wait until January 1st of the following year for the exemption to take effect. This bill is now headed to Gov Abbotts desk for signature.
- SB 12 by Senator Bettencourt & Senator Kolkhorst - SB 12 is the enabling legislation, and SJR 2 is the constitutional amendment. These bills will provide school Maintenance & Operation tax rate reductions for over 65 and disabled homeowners that are capped due to their tax ceiling adjustment. SB 12 is headed back to the Senate for Concurrence on technical amendment and SJR2 passes for public vote in May 2022.
"Property tax relief has been a major priority of Lt. Governor Patrick, myself, and other members for years," said Senator Bettencourt. "Thanks to my House Sponsor Rep. Morgan Meyer for his hard work and the 121 House members that voted for these bills, SB12 returns to the Senate for concurrence and SB 8 heads to Governor Abbott's desk for signature!" he concluded.