Tweaked House Property Tax Bill Still Needs Work

Texans need strong, safe and healthy communities – and cities and counties play a critical role in funding libraries, parks, roads, and other critical services that families and businesses depend on every day.

CPPP opposed the extreme property tax proposal known as House Bill 2, and we continue to oppose the new Committee Substitute for House Bill 2 (CSHB2) as filed.

CSHB2 is not much better than the original bill and still contains the extreme 2.5 percent cap on tax increases without triggering an election.

We appreciate some of the improvements to the bill including exempting community colleges, hospital districts, and emergency service districts. But these changes will not help local cities and counties meet the needs of their constituents.

We hope that lawmakers will further refine the bill to ensure counties and cities will be able to keep their communities safe and prosperous. Tying the hands of local elected officials makes it harder for communities to respond to the unique situations each town, city and county faces in our state. The 2.5 percent cap is even more severe than the four, five and six percent caps unsuccessfully floated in 2017.

Texas voters elect their council members, county commissioners, and other local officials to respond to their community priorities. A recent poll by Baselice & Associates, Inc. found that 87 percent of Texan voters believe that local governments are better suited than the state government in addressing their community’s needs.

Local governments are likely to respond to revenue constraints by cutting the services residents depend on every day. With more restrictions on property taxes, local governments will also likely turn to higher sales taxes, penalties and fees, and other revenue sources that place a greater responsibility on residents with the least ability to pay.

We continue to urge people to contact your Texas Representative today and tell them to oppose HB 2.

CPPP Legislative & Policy Intern Ardian Shaholli contributed to this post.

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