TXLegeHub logo TXLegeHub logo
— a project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation —

Property Tax Reform

Property taxes are skyrocketing, and it’s causing Texans to lose their homes and close their businesses. In fact, from 1998 to 2017, property taxes were up 212 percent, which was nearly twice that of the average taxpayer’s ability to pay.

That’s why the Texas Public Policy Foundation has developed a new plan to significantly lower property taxes. The proposal would eliminate nearly half the local property tax burden by ending the school maintenance and operations (M&O) property tax.

Recommendations

  • Restrict the growth of appropriations of state funds to approximately 4% per biennium.
  • Return the resulting surplus state revenue to taxpayers by buying down the “Robin Hood” school property tax.
  • Require voter approval for any increase of property tax revenue of more than 2.5 percent or population growth plus inflation, whichever is less.

Talking points for liberty fighters

  • Studies suggest that oppressive taxes can discourage economic growth and activity, distort investment decisions (especially among capital intensive industries), and depress job creation.
  • In fiscal 2017, more than 4,000 local taxing jurisdictions hit homeowners and businesses with tax bills totaling almost $60 billion.
  • From 1998 to 2017, Texas’ local property taxes grew by 212%. In comparison, population growth and inflation increased by only 114%.
  • On a per capita basis, Texas’ property tax is large enough to collect more than $2,000 from every man, woman, and child in the state or more than $8,000 from a family of four.
  • Texans shouldn’t feel like tenants in their own homes while local governments play the role of landlord.

The Latest

Research