TEXAS, USA — Hearings have begun in Ector County for property tax appraisal protests.
Plenty goes into property tax appraisals and the purpose behind them, along with the ability for people to protest the appraisal value. However, soon there might not be as big of a need to go through that process.
On Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott discussed progress the state made during the 88th Legislative session that has now ended. He also highlighted work that still needs to be done.
A special session is already underway, with a focus on cutting property taxes and giving that money back to the taxpayers.
“Texas has an all-time record budget surplus of about $35 billion," said Abbott. "Whose money is that?"
"Ours," shouted the crowd.
"You’re darn right, and who should we be giving it to?" responded Abbott.
"Us," the crowd exclaimed.
"Exactly right, and I think one of the best ways we can give it back to you is by cutting your property taxes with the largest property tax cut in the history of the state of Texas," said Abbott.
The Texas government has been working toward property tax cuts over the last several years, coming up short in the last Legislative session back in 2021.
Now, as overtime begins in the Texas Capitol, leaders are close to getting it done for Texans.
“Now we are going to be using more than $17 billion to cut your property taxes," said Abbott. "So, the good news is, we’ve already dedicated and appropriated the amount of money that we’re going to use to cut your property taxes. Now, we just need to decide how we’re going to cut those property taxes.”
Sales tax gives the state more revenue than anything else, and lower property taxes would likely promote additional spending back into the economy.
“Collectively, it’s going to reduce the property tax burden by billions of dollars," said Abbott. "What’s going to happen with those savings? People are going to go out and buy more things where they’re paying more sales taxes.”
The ultimate goal is to eliminate property taxes completely.
“First, we invest in the people of Texas, the taxpayers of Texas, first thing we do is to return your taxes to you by driving down your property tax rate until it gets to zero, so you no longer have to pay property taxes and you get to own your own property in this state," said Abbott.
The governor noted that this is just the first of multiple special sessions that are planned to take care of unfinished business from the regular session.
Abbott was in Odessa in March discussing school choice, and he said they will be holding a special session to try and pass that after they finish with property taxes.