As of Monday, April 25, early voting for the May 7 uniform election is underway. Though local city council and school board races make up the majority of elections on the ballot, two key propositions are on the ballot statewide, both aimed at lowering property taxes.
The two propositions are amendments to the state constitution that reduce the property taxes needed to fund public schools. There will be no loss of funding for any school districts if the voters pass Propositions 1 and 2, as the State will make up any difference.
Proposition 1 would reduce the property tax limit for school maintenance and operations taxes imposed on the homesteads of disabled residents or those over the age of 65. According to the Legislative Budget Board, the difference the State will make up is estimated at $744 million from 2024 to 2026.
The average annual savings for the estimated 2 million residents who qualify for the exemption under Proposition 1 would be $109 in 2024 and $124 in 2025. However, savings will vary based on actual property value. If passed, it will become effective in January 2023.
Proposition 2 would raise the homestead exemption from $25,000 to $40,000 for school district property taxes. According to the state, the amendment is expected to save 5.67 million homeowners about $175 annually. If passed, Proposition 2 will apply retroactively to this year’s tax bills.
“These propositions will cut independent school district property tax bills by increasing homeowner exemptions that will save money for all 5.67 million homesteads in the State of Texas,” said State Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston). “All homeowners with homesteads will save money on their property tax bills. Over (age) 65 homeowners will see their freeze values actually decline, and lifetime savings from both bills in the many thousands.”
These propositions may not be the last property tax relief Texans receive. Heading into the next regular session in January 2023, the Texas legislature has earmarked $3 billion in its federal coronavirus aid for “property tax relief.”