First Bills Filed to Help Keep Austin Affordable
Today, I filed my first bills for the 84th Legislative Session. They are two important pieces that I am bringing back from the 2013 legislature to help address the property tax and affordability crisis many Austinites and Texans are facing.
HB 490 would permit local governments to adopt a percentage homestead exemption (tax cut) limit, as an alternative to the percentage homestead exemption currently permitted. The bill is contingent on voter approval of a constitutional amendment permitting such an exemption.
HJR 57 would amend the Constitution to authorize governing bodies (cities or counties) that adopt tax cuts of a percentage of market values of an individual’s residence homestead to be able to set limits on the dollar amount of the exemption to which an individual is entitled to in a tax year.
A limited exemption directs more of the benefits to middle income households as a fair way to reduce property taxes for homeowners. This increases the flexibility of local governments to use the homestead exemption as a way to provide property tax cuts to citizens. It also affords local governments better control over the amount of revenue foregone.