A plan to cap annual increases in local property taxes was unveiled Tuesday by Gov. Greg Abbott
The proposal would limit how much more in revenue local taxing entities such as cities, counties and school districts could raise each year at 2.5 percent.
It would also require the approval of two-thirds of voters to raise the cap above that 2.5 percent threshold, and would require local governments to vote on increasing property appraisals.
The tax plan should be a focal point of Abbott’s re-election campaign, the Austin American-Statesman reports; the governor has raised $43.3 million, compared with $46,498 for his Democratic competitor, former Dallas County sheriff Lupe Valdez.
Property tax reform failed last summer in the Texas Legislature. Critics said capping local tax revenue would hamper schools, police departments and other public services from bringing in the money they need.
But Abbott said in an announcement said that Texas’ property taxes have climbed 195 percent since 1997, and that the state “has the second highest per capita local debt in the nation.”
“With the skyrocketing rise in property taxes, more and more Texans face the risk of being forced out of the homes they have lived in for decades,” he said. “Young families who are just starting out are having trouble affording their first home and businesses are unable to grow and hire more workers. Enough is enough.”