Texas politics: No end in sight for the property tax break from Austin lawmakers

Austin, Texas (KTRK) – Austin lawmakers have been put into special session to save homeowners real estate tax money, but the political struggle is prolonging the issue, costing taxpayers more money.

Each private session day costs thousands of dollars. It’s a bill that shows and will keep adding.

Greg Abbott said that until the property tax exemption bill comes to his desk, he will continue to call special sessions. In the end, experts believe a compromise will be found, but for now, the two sides are far apart.

In Austin, both the Senate and House of Representatives agree that the property tax credit should go to homeowners. But the two sides cannot agree on how to do this.

“I can’t discuss bad math,” said First Lieutenant Dan Patrick. “They did not bring us any numbers during the session.”

To find out, a special session has been called this week. But it looks like there won’t be any discussion. After the property tax exemption bill was passed on Tuesday, House members left Austin. It was different in the Senate. They agreed to return on Friday.

But without compromise, it appears that a second special session will be needed to find out about property taxes.

“I think it’s more disruptive, and it’s more reflective of a lack of competence because for Republicans, one of the top priorities of this legislative session, if not the top priority, was property tax relief,” Rice University political science professor Mark Jones explained.

The case is about exemption from the house. The Senate wants to increase the amount homeowners get.

The House of Representatives wants to lower tax rates for both homeowners and business owners. This is the plan that Abbott supports.

Still, Patrick said the Senate plan saves homeowners an extra $700 annually.

“If Joe Biden and Kevin McCarthy, a Democrat and a Republican, can reach an agreement to raise the debt ceiling in Washington, then surely three Texas Republicans should be able to reach an agreement on a property tax break,” Jones said.

However, there does not appear to be any agreement yet. Although Patrick is optimistic.

“I believe in my heart that the governor will support the household exemptions, and I think the House will support that because they already voted unanimously for the exemptions,” Patrick said.

After adjourning, Patrick encouraged the House to return to Austin. It doesn’t look like they will after the Speaker posted on social media that they are done with this special session.

However, if the Senate exits later this week, House members may return anyway because the governor is expected to call a second special session.

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