Property tax reform, relief gets big county backer

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Montgomery County passes Property Tax Reform & Relief Resolution 5-0

HOUSTON – Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Senators Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) and Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) commended Montgomery County officials for their unanimous resolution supporting much needed property tax reform and relief measures like Senate Bill 2, and two other measures filed by state representatives. Recognizing the pressing need of their constituents for property tax relief, Montgomery County Commissioners Court had already taken steps to cut their property tax rate and increase their homestead exemption for 2017 prior to supporting bills filed in the Legislature.

“The simple fact that Montgomery County officials are doing what they can to promote property tax relief speaks volumes as to what every taxing jurisdiction in Texas should be doing to help hard-pressed taxpayers stay in their home or business," said Lt. Governor Patrick. "The average homeowner is not seeing a 7 to 8 percent pay raise nor is the average business owner getting a 15 to 20 percent revenue increase in one years, but that is what is happening across the State and why property tax relief is needed."

The problem for taxpayers is that as their appraised property values skyrocket across the state, property tax rates rarely are lowered, yielding ever-rising property tax bills. In fact, property tax bills on average in Texas are rising 2.33 times faster median household income. SB 2 lowers the rollback rate from 8 percent down to 4 percent, schedules an automatic tax rate rollback election in November if that limit is exceeded, and makes a series of appraisal reforms as well.

Senator Creighton introduced the Montgomery County officials present and commended their unanimous vote for property tax relief and reform.  He added, "I am proud of my home county, the state's 11th largest in leading the way on this important issue of property tax relief and reform."

Commissioner James Noack, the author of the resolution, spoke to the reasons it was important to stand up for property taxpayers. “Tax rates don’t matter anymore.  With the tremendous increase in appraisal value all you have to do is to accept the increase which was $2.8 billion in value from 2017-2018 for Montgomery County and not change the rate.

Senator Bettencourt continued, “What Montgomery County Commissioners Court did was to unanimously support their taxpayers’ need for property tax relief and reform as property tax bills really are going up 2⅓ times as fast as Texans’ paychecks. I hope other local taxing entities stand up for taxpayers and follow the lead of Montgomery County is provided much needed tax relief." He added, "I think Montgomery County is taxpayer friendly now!"

Legislation filing deadlines and committee hearings begin in earnest in March. Follow this issue online atwww.senate.texas.gov/ptaxrr.

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