Texas budget surplus may hand homeowners a tax break
Texas homeowners may see another tax break on their homes this year thanks to a larger-than-expected budget surplus.
During a recent interview with Inside Texas Politics, Republican State Sen. Paul Bettencourt signaled it was entirely possible lawmakers could raise the homestead exemption, which reduces the taxable value of a Texan’s primary residence.
Bettencourt, who was recently renamed chair of the Senate Committee on Local Government, said a proposed bill would raise the homestead exemption from $40,000 to $70,000 – thus, reducing property taxes for homeowners.
He said he expects it to pass in both houses with bi-partisan support.
“These are huge savings. For an average Dallas [Independent School District] home … for the rest of your life, you’ll save $826 per year. And that’s an additional $355 because of this increase, because of what was already there before,” Bettencourt said. “Exemptions are very powerful tools to keep homeowners in their homes.”
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The increase in the homestead exemption would be compensated by $3 billion of sales, gas and other state taxes.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick proposed raising the current homestead exemption to school district property taxes from $40,000 to $70,000 earlier this month, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. He said it would save Texans “thousands of dollars” over the lifetime of a home.
“The governor and the speaker and the members will come together, and we’ll find a way that’s long-term property tax relief with billions of dollars from this surplus, because you come first,” he said. “It’s your money.”
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The Senate included the proposal in its state budget, which hauled in a record-setting surplus of nearly $33 billion, topping the forecasted surplus by $6 billion.
FOX Business’ Eric Revell contributed to this report.