Governor Abbot Signed Senate Bill 2 into Law – What Happens Now?

We’ve been keeping you up to speed on the movement of Senate Bill 2 all year, and, on June 12, 2019, Governor Greg Abbot signed the latest version of this bill into law. Before we go into our new property tax season, the Home Tax Solutions team is taking one final look at the new law and how it might affect your own property tax bill this October. 

Tax Percentage Increases Capped – But Increasing Property Values Aren’t

There is a lot of confusing talk out there that calls Senate Bill 2 a property tax cut law or says your property taxes will diminish, but that’s not quite accurate. Actually, the new property tax law was designed to help slow the annual increases by reducing the percentage that property taxes can increase before voter approval is required. Some highlights of new law include:

  • City and county governments need to seek a vote in order to increase their revenue more than 3.5% (that’s down from 8%). 
  • For school districts, 2.5% is the maximum increase in a tax year before an election is automatically called. In the past, a special election had to be petitioned for by voters, but it’s now automatic in cities with a population greater than 30,000. 
  • Perhaps the best part, these elections and votes aren’t called in the months with low voter turnout. Instead, they must be included in November’s general election. 

Your Vote Counts When It Comes to Property Tax Increases 

Since much of the new law depends on your vote, property owners have significantly more power and say when it comes to keeping their property taxes down. However, that means knowing what’s going on and turning up to vote in the November elections each year is essential. 

All the Numbers Must Be Posted

In the past, counties and special districts had to publish their tax numbers once a year in local newspaper outlets. Now, these numbers must be published on the county’s website. Additionally, you can now request all of the information on your property that might be introduced at a property tax hearing in advance, but you do need to make the request. 

Your Right to Protest Property Values is Protected

Not only is information more readily available online for general numbers and upon request for your individual property’s taxes, but the appraisal board members and arbitrators who review and hear protests must all undergo training. Furthermore, a number of restrictions have been placed on who can appraise your property tax protests. These restrictions are geared toward preventing the same people who benefit from increased tax values determining the value of your property. In short, people have unprecedented protection, making the property tax protest process more impartial than it’s ever been. 

Need Help with Your Property Tax Bill? 

Are you struggling to cover the cost of your property taxes? The new law should give you hope for more manageable property tax bills in the future, so let the Home Tax Solutions team help you get back on track and out of the property tax cycle of late fees and always being just a few months behind on your payments. A property tax loan with a reasonable interest rate can give you the time you need to repay your back taxes and start budgeting for the year ahead. Ready to learn more about your options from the team who truly cares? Call Home Tax Solutions in one of our five Texas locations below; we serve all 254 counties across Texas, and we can help you understand your property taxes and repayment options.

Austin: 512-212-9396

Dallas: 214-420-1814

Houston: 281-940-7436

McAllen: 956-622-5512

San Antonio: 210-951-2211