FORT WORTH (CBDSFW.COM) – The push for property tax relief came to a quick stop in Austin on Thursday.
State lawmakers expected to spend most of the day debating a plan to slow tax growth, but now they say they’re going to work on it through the weekend.
The delay comes after mayors, police chiefs and transportation officials started to push back about how this plan might squeeze cities. They also argue the bill doesn’t help taxpayers all that much.
The Texas House plan to limit skyrocketing tax bills on property owners by limiting how much additional money cities can bring in each year, did not end up getting its scheduled debate.
With opposition growing louder from Texas cities, including in North Texas, the House decided to delay a vote, taking more time to figure out how to fix the issue.
“If you really listen to what they’re saying, they say this is to slow the growth in your tax bill. But when I talk to citizens, what they want is property tax relief,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.
Mayor Price joined leaders from Dallas, Irving, Grand Prairie and other cities this week, publicly telling state leaders a 2.5 percent cap on tax revenue wouldn’t work.
Price said that would save the average homeowner about $30 per year, but it would cost the city $6 million to $10 million per year.
Public safety would not suffer, she said, but it would be enough that other services would likely end up facing cuts.
“You’re looking more at libraries, public works, code, some of those that might have openings where we say we just can’t fill those right now,” Mayor Price said.