CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It's been on the mind of Texans for months and now state lawmakers have put their heads together to come up with a deal to cut property taxes across the state.
On Monday, the state's top Republicans mentioned the compromise will be part of an $18 billion budget.
The most important elements is that it's aimed at increasing homestead exemptions, cut taxes to small businesses while offering more funding to school districts and create a tax-credit pilot program for non-homesteaded properties.
During Monday's session, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan emphasized how this effort will help the economy statewide.
“Reducing property taxes, providing relief to small-business owners, and reforming our appraisal system will ensure economic growth and prosperity, and this agreement is a significant victory for all Texans," Phelan said.
This tax relief deal will impact more than 5.7 million Texans. Nueces County Tax Accessor Kevin Kieschnick mentioned he believes this is progress and things are headed in the right direction.
”It looks like state lawmakers finally got a bill together and I’m just glad that they’re able to finally agree to something and it should going to help everybody,” Kieschnick said.
At least $12 billion will go towards reducing the school property tax rate for homeowners and business properties, which is a significant portion of taxes for property owners.
“Schools is 53% of the tax bill on average in Nueces County, so that will have a significant impact," Kieschnick said. "They’re actually going to reduce the tax by that amount and reimburse the schools for the differences through a process called compression.”
According to Phelan’s office, the legislation, would also include a 20% so-called "circuit breaker" for non-homesteaded properties, including residential and commercial properties, valued at $5 million and under. This will be categorized under a three year piloted program.
But more importantly for property owners is the increase of homestead exemptions from $40,000 to $100,000, which can lower the taxable value on someone's property.
The Nueces County Tax Assessor's Office said this means there's going to be $60,000 worth of taxable value on the property that will be removed from that calculation.
The legislation will also include savings on franchise tax for small businesses and create newly elected positions on local appraisal boards.
This topic has been a priority for Gov. Greg Abbott as he released a statement following Monday's announcement:
"I promised during my campaign that the state would return to property taxpayers at least half of the largest budget surplus we have ever had. Today’s agreement between the House and the Senate is a step toward delivering on that promise. I look forward to this legislation reaching my desk, so I can sign into law the largest property tax cut in Texas history."
There are still some parts within the legislation that lawmakers say they need to work out before it officially heads to Gov. Abbott's desk. The hope is that it will be passed later this week.