Property Tax And School Voucher Measures Move Quickly In Senate

The fate of the bills is less certain in the House, where the property tax measure didn’t even get to a vote during the regular session.

By Rhonda FanningJuly 25, 2017 11:45 am|

The Texas Legislature’s 30-day special session is moving through an ambitious agenda at a rapid-fire pace, at least in the Senate.

Two significant pieces of legislation received preliminary approval in the Senate on Monday. The first: a provision would restrict local governments from raising property taxes more than four percent above the year before without a public vote. The second provides a voucher for special needs students to receive financial assistance for private-school tuition.

Austin Bureau Chief for the San Antonio Express-News, Peggy Fikac, says while restricting property tax increases is usually appealing to homeowners, it can have a negative affect on municipal and county services. And opponents of the voucher worry it will take away funding for special education in public schools.

So far, the measures have only progressed in the Senate. Fikac says the future of these bills is uncertain in the House.

“That’s the big question,” Fikac says. “At best they face an uncertain future. The House has repeatedly voted against vouchers, and in the regular session they did not even take a vote on the [property tax measure].”

 

Written by Lila Weatherly.