Senate Property Tax Relief Testimony

Texas School Coalition Executive Director Christy Rome provided testimony to the Senate Finance Committee on March 15, 2023.

On behalf of the Texas School Coalition on Senate Bill 3 and Senate Bill 4, thank you for your commitment to property tax relief.  We strongly support efforts to reduce recapture, and these bills would cause a meaningful reduction in recapture.

Senate Bill 3 recognizes the inflationary effects on home values that many homeowners have experienced, which have diminished the value of the increase to the Homestead Exemption that Texans approved about a year ago. This change would help keep pace with the high rate of inflation and provide meaningful relief to taxpayers.

Still, we are testifying on the bills today because the cost of inflation is also affecting schools. We want to make sure the right balance is struck between controlling property taxes and investing in schools — now and in the future.  We support the intent of this bill, but we must also draw attention to the impact it could have on classroom funding.  Increasing the state’s share of funding is important and welcome, but it is not the same as increasing the overall funding schools have available to spend on students and teachers.

While the state is enjoying a historic surplus right now, Texas does not have unlimited resources to spend, and we ask that you address the two priorities of property tax relief and additional funding for public education with equal urgency.

Thank you for your time, and I am happy to answer any questions you may have.