Thursday, April 11, 2019

#TXLEGE: Who the heck knows what's happening on Property Taxes....

"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

We got to the Capitol expecting to see house debate on HB 2.  Didn't happen.  Instead, they punted to Monday.

For now.

Meanwhile, the Senate claims to be having discussions behind closed doors; heard that before.

From the Trib:
As debate stalled on Thursday in both the Texas House and Senate over priority property tax legislation, and as questions lingered over how school districts should fit into the equation, Gov. Greg Abbott laid his own marker in the sand, stating through a spokesman that “there must be a cap on school districts’ ability to raise taxes.”

The lower chamber had for days planned to debate House Bill 2, its version of the high-priority legislation on Thursday. But amid rumors that the Senate would take up its own version of the bill, the House adjourned for a lunch break without taking the measure up. Eventually, state Rep. Dustin Burrows, a Lubbock Republican spearheading the House measure, announced to the lower chamber later Thursday afternoon that he was punting the bill to Monday for debate.

"Members," House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, told the lower chamber afterward, "we are respectfully working with the Senate on this issue."

News of the postponement came after Bonnen, Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, along with various lawmakers, spent most of Thursday behind closed doors trying to work out a deal. One sticking point between the two chambers — and across party lines, to an extent — appeared to be over school districts, which levy the bulk of property taxes in Texas, and whether and how they should be included in property tax reform legislation. In the original, identical versions of Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 2, districts were included along with cities and counties. But after a House committee stripped them from its version of the consensus proposal, the bill’s Senate author, Houston Republican Paul Bettencourt criticized that approach, arguing in a now-deleted social media post that “school districts must be included as part of any property tax reform and relief plan.”


Still, as Thursday afternoon carried on, it remained unclear how negotiations between the two chambers and the governor’s office were progressing — and when, if at all, either House Bill 2 or Senate Bill 2 would come up for a vote in their respective chambers.
We don't have a lot to add, although according to house sources the speaker's team doesn't want to include school districts (at all)...but it's an open question whether they'll die on that hill.

Bottom Line: We have no bloody idea....

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