It’s been said, “Everything’s bigger in Texas”, and this now includes a big surplus of revenue that the state will incur by August 2023 and is expected to create billions of dollars in excess. With the surplus, Governor Greg Abbot and members of the state legislative body are proposing a Texas size property tax cut.
Congress enacted the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction cap for tax years 2018-2025. This means that if taxpayers pay over $10,000 of state and local taxes, only $10,000 can be deducted on an income tax return. This cap adversely affected Texas taxpayers who pay a combined sales and property tax over $10,000.
When the cap was put into place, many states attempted to circumvent the cap on the deduction; however, the IRS has put into place certain regulations to prevent these attempts. If these proposed tax cuts take place, this would be a great relief for many Texas taxpayers.
On February 16, 2023, Governor Abbot proposed to use $15 billion to lower property taxes. “The money could go toward further buying down school property taxes or raising the homestead exemption again.”
Previously, the Texas Senate proposed “…$3 billion to boost the state’s homestead exemption, which is the dollar amount of a home’s value that can’t be taxed. The money would raise the homestead exemption on school district taxes from $40,000 to $70,000…That would net the owner of a $300,000 home at least $300 in savings on their annual tax bill…”. Although not definitive, there is a high likelihood that there will be some kind of reduction in property taxes in the near future.
There have also been proposals to lower the tax on business personal property, but these proposals still need to be discussed and a bill passed to sign into law.
According to The Texas Tribune, “More than almost any other state in the country, Texas relies on local property taxes to pay for government services like public schools, police departments and road maintenance.
That reliance, coupled with the state’s lack of an income tax, has resulted in some of the highest property tax bills in the nation. Texas homeowners pay a bigger chunk of their home value in property taxes than homeowners in almost every other state, according to the Tax Foundation. Only New Hampshire and Alaska depend more on the property tax than Texas.
The biggest chunk of a typical Texas homeowner’s property tax bill goes to pay school property taxes — the state’s primary method of paying for public schools. School property tax revenue makes up more than half of the funds Texas uses to pay for public schools (the remainder comes from state and federal funds). It also accounts for more than half of all property tax revenue in the state.”