Property Tax Debate

From today’s “The Brief” on The Texas Tribune:

Roughly three weeks ago, top GOP leaders unveiled their vision for a property tax reform proposal. But now, as yours truly and the Tribune’s Emma Platoff reports, few of those same leaders seem married to the bill’s pitch to cut the rollback rate to 2.5 percent.

  • There are already a couple of visible splits over the legislation. While some Republicans have cast the proposal as it’s written as a conversation-starter, a number of Democrats have written it off as a nonstarter. And while the Senate has aimed to fast-track the legislation, the House has taken a slower approach.
  • Beyond that … There’s a question over whether the 2.5 figure was ever a serious proposal — or just a marker in the sand to prevent critics from clinging to a higher figure such as 6 or 8 percent in down-the-line negotiations.

Speaking of property taxes … The Tribune’s Brandon Formby, Chris Essig and Ben Hasson are out today with a primer on how government entities in Texas calculate how much money landowners owe in property taxes each year. On Thursday, Formby, Essig and Hasson will have a look at how local governments’ revenues determine tax rates. Stay tuned.

Something to consider: At the moment, sponsors do not have the needed 19 votes to bring the property tax proposal to the Senate floor for consideration, Ross Ramsey writes in his column today. That leads to a conversation about Senate rules — specifically, Ramsey writes, about the rule governing the order in which bills are considered.