The Republican senator said homeowners would see a cut in “real” property taxes, while Texas’ biggest business tax relief program is “toast.”

State Senator Paul Bettencourt of Houston said even more extensive property tax reform could be underway after the state’s largest corporate tax relief program expires.

DALLAS – Texans will have the opportunity next year to allow homeowners to lower their property tax bill. If passed in May, the constitutional amendment would increase the homestead exemption from $ 25,000 to $ 40,000.

While some fear the potential reduction will be swallowed up by rising property values, the Republican senator behind the measure says, whatever the definition, this is a real reduction in property values. property tax as the exemption increases.

“And that’s a permanent reduction of $ 176 per year as long as you own the house. And that means well over $ 5,000 for a lifetime because it follows you wherever you go effectively, ”Senator Paul Bettencourt said on Inside Texas Politics.

While the Houston Republican calls the cut a powerful tool, he says even more significant property tax reform could be underway after the state’s largest corporate tax relief program expires, which the Texas Comptroller’s Office says will take place at the end of next year. Known as Chapter 313, it allows school districts to temporarily limit the appraised value of a property to encourage business development. But the owner must create a number of permanent full-time jobs.

Passed in 2001, it has upset many homeowners to see the value of their property and their taxes rise, while some businesses receive huge tax breaks. And Senator Bettencourt said the program has suffered serious abuse over the years, even telling Inside Texas Politics that some companies take advantage of it and only create one job. He says there is no way the existing 313 program will be renewed, even going so far as to call it “toast.”

“Doing it badly doesn’t make anyone happy except the people who make money, they get a windfall and produce a job and that’s not the point of the program,” the Republican said. “If we are not going to have responsible use of economic development funds, we will not have a program.

And now that lawmakers have returned home after the end of the third special session, Bettencourt has indicated that there is little appetite for a fourth special session and that lawmakers are unlikely to meet until the next regular session in 2023.

“I think the odds seem pretty low at the moment. And after going through a 10 month legislative cycle, I am ready to live long and prosper as an ordinary person back with ordinary people back in the district, ”Bettencourt said, waving the Vulcan greeting.

Chapter 313 (Office of the Comptroller): Chapter 313: Trade Tax Limitations for Development (texas.gov)

SB 1 (increase in the exemption of family properties): Texas Legislature Online – 87 (3) History for SB 1