Texas voters will elect a new governor in November. Already, the incumbent and challengers are presenting plans to reform the state’s property tax system.
Governor Greg Abbott unveiled the tax plan he’ll use in campaigning for another term. Under his Taxpayer Bill of Rights, he proposes:
Provide a discount up to 3% for taxpayers who pay their bill in full early
Allow property tax bills to be paid off quarterly or semiannually
Create an exemption for small business equipment
Increase transparency in the appraisal system and streamline the process
Require all debt issued by local governments to have either two-thirds support of the governing body or two-thirds support of voters
As reported by The Texan, Abbott’s challengers have each set out their own approach to solving property owners’ discontent over real estate taxes.
Former state Senator Don Huffines has called for the abolishment of the property tax system. His plan would swap the property tax with a gradual increase in sales taxes, leaving income taxes off the table. Former Texas GOP Chairman Allen West’s proposal calls for replacing property taxes with a system entirely reliant on sales taxes. And TV host Chad Prather’s platform calls for the state to rein in spending and debt before evaluating a transition away from property taxes.
While Governor Abbott’s plan tweaks the current system, his opponents have each expressed their desire to move away from property taxes entirely and do so gradually.