Texas Tribune Article: Abbot Offers Tax Plan
The proposed plan:
1. Establish a property tax revenue growth cap of 2.5 percent
"Proposed revenue increases in excess of the cap must be for limited purposes: compensation for
emergency services personnel (including law enforcement), compensation for classroom teachers
or other instructional personnel in public schools, or critical infrastructure such as roads, bridges,
and school classrooms. However, increases above the cap may not, in total, exceed the statewide
increase in population growth plus inflation, as calculated by the Comptroller of Public Accounts."
2. Prohibit the Legislature from imposing unfunded mandates on cities and counties
3. Require appraisal directors to be locally-elected officials
4. Improve rights of property owners in the property tax appraisal and protest process
5. Improve property tax transparency by requiring Comptroller to develop data base of property tax rates
6. Improve the transparency of local debt, prohibit debt from being used for non-specified purposes, and restrict the use of certificates of obligation
7. Require two-thirds supermajority vote to approve issuance of new local debt
"Meanwhile, the elections called to approve the issuance of new local debt should require a two-thirds
supermajority vote in order for the new debt to be approved. Such supermajority requirements are not
uncommon in other states. Indeed, among states that do have such a requirement, it varies from 55
percent to 67 percent of voter turnout.78 California has such a requirement:
With the exception of certain school bonds, two-thirds approval of voters is also required for
general obligation bonds. The proceeds of these bonds must be used for the acquisition or
improvement of real property … [The] vote threshold appears to have made a dramatic
difference in the success of school bonds. Fewer than half of the succeeding measures achieved
the two-thirds approval level required of other bonds and special taxes."
Full report attached.
Moak, Casey & Associates will have more analsyis on this plan in the days ahead.