AUSTIN, TX – Today, the Senate Committee on Property Tax voted 4-0 to favorably report Senate Bill 2 (SB 2) to the full Senate. Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa was present, not voting on SB 2, otherwise known as the Property Tax Reform and Relief Act of 2019.
Senator Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“While I support 97.5% of this bill, I cannot support the other 2.5%. Specifically, I cannot support the 2.5% “voter-approved rate” currently in SB 2. While the existing 8% rate is too high, the 2.5% rate is too low and would jeopardize the ability of local governments to provide crucial services to their communities.
There is no doubt that property tax appraisals are increasing faster than our paychecks. Property taxpayers need relief. However, we should find a balanced approach that does not tie the hands of our local elected officials and hinder their ability to provide basic services and public safety.
The largest budget expenditure by local governments is public safety. On average, 60% of their budget supports our police officers and firefighters. With a 2.5% cap, SB 2 could hinder our local governments’ ability to keep our communities safe and to fund other necessary services and infrastructure.
Instead of applying a one size fits all approach to our vast state, to provide true property tax relief we should focus more on school finance reform. School taxes are the largest portion of our property tax bill. We should also eliminate unfunded mandates by the state.
I look forward to continue working with my colleagues to find consensus on a fair and equitable solution that improves the property tax and appraisal process without hindering our local communities’ ability to fund public safety, education, indigent health care, and the infrastructure needed to continue Texas’ prosperity.”
Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa proudly represents the counties of Nueces, Jim Wells, Brooks, and Hidalgo (part). Senator Hinojosa currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, and serves on the Senate Committees on Property Tax; Natural Resources & Economic Development; Transportation; and, Agriculture.