AUSTIN--State Representative Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) has filed a property tax relief package that will reduce the tax burden on Texas homeowners. HB 957 reduces the appraisal cap from 10 percent to 5 percent, while HB 958 will increase the standard homestead exemption from $15,000 to $30,000 for school district tax purposes.
"Texas homeowners need a break," Rep. Bohac said. "With the inflated price of real estate in our state right now, Texans are taking a hit on the front end when they purchase a home and again annually as their appraisals grow exponentially. These two bills offer a pragmatic, common-sense approach to reforming the property tax model in Texas."
HB 957 seeks to lower the current 10 percent limit on annual property appraisal value increases to 5 percent for all residence homesteads. Under the current system, a homeowner's overall property tax bill could double every seven years with appraisals that grow by 10 percent.
"Our homes represent what has become the new urban 'family farm.' With a 10 percent increase in the appraised value of a home resulting in a tax bill that is 10 percent higher, it is not reasonable, fair or sustainable for Texas homeowners. Agricultural property has enjoyed far greater protections and discounts, and it's time the Legislature helps residential homeowners as we rapidly move towards an urban-based economy," commented Rep. Bohac
"In 2003, we lowered school property taxes by almost one third. However, homeowners quickly saw the reduction eroded by 'appraisal creep,'" Bohac said. "Texas taxpayers need us to 'finish the job' we started by lowering the homestead appraisal cap from its current level of 10 percent to 5 percent."
HB 958 will increase the $15,000 residence homestead exemption that school districts are required to offer to $30,000. Currently, if a home is appraised at $150,000, then a school district can only tax the homeowner on a taxable base of $135,000. The increase in the exemption would put that taxable value at $120,000, resulting in a double digit percentage savings for the average homeowner.
"This legislation seeks to slow down the skyrocketing property taxes that Texas homeowners are paying as people continue to flock to Texas," Bohac said. "This bill is crafted to responsibly address the property tax relief that our homeowners deserve while taking great care not to damage education funding by requiring that the state backfill any shortage and make the school districts whole."
On November 4, 2014, Representative Dwayne Bohac was re-elected to represent House District 138. He is a small business owner and lifelong District 138 resident. Bohac has been named "Taxpayer's Best Friend" by his colleagues in the Texas House and in 2003, he became the only member to pass a 5 percent appraisal cap bill out of either chamber of the State Legislature.