Monday, May 22, 2017

#TXLEGE: Dennis Bonnen's UNACCEPTABLE Property Tax STUNT....


"But the former governors who were before me laid burdens on the people, and took from them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver. Yes, even their servants bore rule over the people, but I did not do so, because of the fear of God."
Nehemiah 5:15

LOL, nice try:
The Texas House on Saturday responded to Lt. Gov. Patrick's threat of forcing a special session by unanimously approving property tax legislation. But the lower chamber excluded the Senate's key provisions requiring voter approval of some tax rates — something Patrick wanted included.

Property tax changes and the so-called bathroom bill were the two items Patrick this week said needed to move by May 29 to prevent a special session. But it wasn't immediately clear Saturday afternoon if the lieutenant governor would accept a version of the property tax legislation that excluded the election provision many in the upper chamber considered vital. Conservative House members also wanted such language, but were unsuccessful in getting it added.

....

Under his proposal, local governments would have to announce a “no-new-revenue” tax rate each year and compare it to the rate they’re actually proposing. Taxpayers would get a copy of that and could intervene before the rates are finally set.

....

His committee stripped from the Senate version of the bill provisions that would require cities and counties to get voter approval for their property tax rates if revenues exceed 5 percent compared to what the entities collected the year before. The House's version leaves that "rollback" threshold at 8 percent — and only triggers an election if constituents successfully petition for a vote.

State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, asked Bonnen why his proposal doesn’t include automatic rollback elections. He said he would vote for Bonnen’s amendment, but wanted to know why it doesn’t go further. And he told the House that the Senate bill was the better option.

“This is a farce,” Stickland said. “This is part of a victory, part of a victory.”

He said he thought the automatic rollback election was essential to property tax reform.
The full interaction between Stickland and Bonnen:



Stickland subsequently elaborated:



From Empower Texans:
What lawmakers should have passed, but didn’t, was Senate Bill 2 by State Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R–Houston), a major property tax reform bill that would force taxing entities to secure voter approval in order to increase property tax burdens by more than 5%. Should that election fail the rate would be “rolled back.”

Knowing that it will serve as a shield against property tax increases, SB 2 has been hailed by homeowners across the Lone Star State and has been many conservatives’ primary goal this legislative session.

Though the bill passed by a party-line vote of 20-11 in the Texas Senate, the measure was stopped in the Texas House after Speaker Joe Straus removed it from consideration by sustaining Democrats’ point of order on the bill and preventing conservatives from moving to overrule it.
Our two cents: The automatic rollback provisions are non-negotiable.  As we explained in March, they are the absolute bare minimum to an acceptable session on the property tax issue.  The whole point of property tax reform move taxing entities from a forgiveness based system to a permission based system.

Senator Bettencourt seems to concur:
“Without Senate Bill 2 as passed by the Senate being considered by the full House, there will be no property tax relief coming out of the 85th Regular Session,” said Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), the author of SB 2. “Many of the items that the House voted on yesterday like SB 669, the committee substitute for SB 2, HB 15, and many other bills already existed as standalone bills in the Senate that have already been passed by the Texas Senate. While these are useful transparency and taxpayer tools, they are not property tax relief.”

If the House is to consider SB 2 in the 85th General Session, the House Calendars Committee will have to set the bill for today for a vote no later than second reading on Tuesday.

“Senate Bill 2 was based upon 50 hours of public testimony from taxpayers around the state that show multiple years of double digit increases in property tax bills on homes and businesses, with another year coming of strong value increases in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and on the IH35 corridor and in other jurisdictions around the state of Texas,” Senator Bettencourt stated. “If appraised values go up and tax rates don’t come down, then homeowners and business owners continue to be put at risk of ever-rising tax bills. This problem is not going away,” he added. “We should get a vote on rollback and automatic election provisions in the 85th Regular Session as Texas taxpayers are hoping we are not done yet.”
Bottom Line: We'll have to see what happens, but as things currently stand the property tax issue has NOT been satisfactorily resolved.

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Governor Greg Abbott: (512) 463-2000

Representative Dennis Bonnen: (512) 463-0564

Senator Paul Bettencourt: (512) 463-0107

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