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Property Tax Bill Moves Forward in Texas House

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune
Texas State Rep. Dennis Bonnen R-Angleton at the microphone during debate Saturday in the House over SB1.

A bill that would change the way cities and counties collect property taxes is moving forward in the Texas House. On Saturday, lawmakers approved Senate Bill 1 on second reading. The measure would lower the rollback rate, or the annual percent increase in property taxes, from 8 percent to 6 percent. Any increases above that would have to go to the public for a vote.

The bill’s sponsor, Representative Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, repeatedly noted that SB 1 does not aim to save taxpayers any money, but it would allow them to weigh in on some increases.

“This is a bill that will help provide protection to taxpayers, but does not provide one ounce of property tax relief,” Bonnen said. “It’s not intended to, and anyone who suggests that is giving you bad information.”

Bonnen successfully opposed all proposed amendments to SB 1. Opponents of the bill, including Austin Mayor Steve Adler, say it would put a strain on cities’ abilities to fund public safety and other services.

The bill still requires another vote by the Texas House before it can move forward. Lawmakers will also have to sort through major differences between this measure and the Senate version of the bill, which sets the rollback rate at 4 percent. 

The 30-day special legislative session must end by Wednesday, August 16.

Syeda Hasan is a senior editor at KUT. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @syedareports.