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Abbott Pushes to Eliminate Property Taxes in Texas (Video)

Introduction

Governor Greg Abbott’s proposal to eliminate property taxes in Texas has sparked a contentious debate, with significant implications for public funding and homeowners.

Abbott’s Proposal and Budget Allocation

Governor Abbott aims to use $17 billion of the state’s $33 billion budget surplus to reduce property tax rates. This plan would save homeowners with a $300,000 home approximately $1,300 over the next two years.

Senate’s Counterproposal

The Texas Senate has its own plan, offering homeowners an average saving of $2,500 over two years. Both legislative bodies need to compromise to reach a final agreement.

Source of Budget Surplus

According to the Texas Tribune, the budget surplus results from the state’s strong energy sector, robust consumer spending, COVID relief packages, and increased sales tax revenue due to higher prices.

Texas’ High Property Tax Rate

Texas has the sixth highest property tax rate in the United States, according to the Tax Foundation, an independent tax policy nonprofit. The absence of state income tax, varying county tax rates, and rising home prices contribute to this high rate.

Concerns Over Public School Funding

Some public school teachers and administrators express concerns about the potential impact on school funding, particularly regarding building maintenance and teacher salaries. Efforts to reach school districts and organizations for comments were unsuccessful.

Lieutenant Governor’s Concerns

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has voiced his concerns about the long-term sustainability of Abbott’s plan, especially during economic downturns when sales tax collections may decrease.

Comparison with Other States

States like Tennessee, Alaska, and Florida also have no state income tax but have property tax rates lower than Texas, according to the Tax Foundation.

Proposed Debate

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has challenged Governor Abbott to a Lincoln-Douglas style debate to discuss their respective property tax plans.

Conclusion

The debate over eliminating property taxes in Texas continues, with significant potential impacts on public services and homeowner savings. The resolution will depend on legislative compromise and addressing sustainability concerns.

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