Senate wants to raise the state’s homestead exemption 

House pitches appraisal cap increase

On the Senate side, Patrick and Bettencourt have said that the appraisal cap proposal would undo progress the Legislature has made in recent years toward slowing property tax growth — progress made by limiting how much cities, counties and school districts can grow their property tax revenue each year. Some proponents of lowering property taxes have warned that reducing the appraisal cap would prompt local governments to raise their tax rates in order to make up for any revenue lost to appraisal caps.

“The only way you can impact tax bills is by slowing the growth of government,” Bettencourt said.

Property tax experts also say that raising the cap would make the property tax system more unfair and eventually create drastic inequities. For example, a first-time homeowner would face a substantially higher tax bill than a neighbor who’s owned their home for 20 years and benefited from decades of capped values. Those same inequities arose in California after voters in the late 1970s imposed caps on how much their homes could be taxed.

That’s a concern Glenn Hamer, the head of the Texas Association of Business, raised to the Ways & Means committee this week, testifying that the cap would “create an unequal distribution of taxes” among business owners and homeowners.

This article was written by JOSHUA FECHTER  of The Texas Tribune.  The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.  This article originally appeared at: