Property taxes could decrease if amendments pass
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Property taxes are a hot topic right now, especially as home values keep rising, and two proposed amendments could bring some relief.
On May 7, voters will be weighing in on two amendments. One would decrease property taxes for elderly and disabled Texans while the other would increase the homestead exemption.
Dr. Pat Flavin, a political science professor at Baylor University, said if the proposition passes, it would mean property taxes paid to public schools would be frozen at a lower level. That means a lower tax bill for disabled adults and Texans 65 and older. The amount paid to schools typically makes up most of a homeowner’s tax bill, and Dr. Flavin said these taxes can be especially challenging for people on a fixed income.
“For someone who’s disabled or someone who’s older and retired, you may not have a steady stream of income coming in,” Dr. Flavin said. “Property taxes can be particularly tough to pay, or they can take a bigger bite out of your finances.”
If this passes, that would mean less money going to public schools. According to the Texas Tribune, the state would cover the reduced revenue, which would cost the state more than $744 million from 2024 to 2026.
If proposition two passes, it would raise the homestead exemption from $25,000 to $40,000 for school district property taxes. Dr. Flavin said that means a $100,000 would be taxed like it’s worth $60,000. As home values are going up, so are property taxes, and Dr. Flavin said that’s not popular with voters.
“This is the Texas legislature’s attempt to try to provide some relief to those rising taxes,” Dr. Flavin said. “Which again, are not because tax rates have been increased, but instead because property values and the homes that we own have increased.”
The Texas Tribune reports this measure would save the average homeowner about a $176 dollars annually, while it would cost the state about $600 million.
Early voting is already underway and runs through May 3. You can find more information here.
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