An 11 percent cut in school property taxes was approved by the Texas Texas House of Representatives, 139 votes to five.
The bill, if passed by the senate and signed by the governor, would give school districts more than $2 billion from the state’s surplus. Districts would use that money to lower property taxes and provide some cushion between their rates and the maximum rate. Then, districts could inch their tax rates back up if necessary.
The bill comes after the Texas Supreme Court ordered the Legislature to give school districts more room to raise or lower taxes. Most districts are now taxing property owners at the state’s maximum tax rate of $1.50 per $100 of assessed value.
Since House Bill 1 passed on Monday, debates have begun. Gov. Rick Perry wants lawmakers to lower property tax rates by 33 percent in large part by reshaping the corporate franchise tax.