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Posted on: February 27, 2019

Unsurprising Hearing on Property Tax Reform

The governor presented his biennial “State of the State” address this week.  Unsurprisingly, he declared property tax reform as an “emergency item,” which means it will be a priority early in the session.

To that end, the Senate Committee on Property Tax held its hearing on S.B. 2, the property tax reform bill containing a 2.5 percent revenue cap, on Wednesday.  By their treatment of local government witnesses, the chair and most members of the committee clearly saw the passage of the bill as a foregone conclusion. 

In fact, the chair stated more than once that he wouldn’t listen to suggestions from those who are opposed to the bill.  He encouraged witnesses to change their testimony to neutral by stating that he would listen to their suggestions if they did.

Overall, some on the committee appeared to see city officials as a nuisance and treated them with disrespect and disdain. 

This Houston Chronicle article provides an interesting summary of how city and county officials were treated.

The bill was left pending in committee at the conclusion of the hearing.  Thanks to the dozens of city officials who testified convincingly about the effects of a 2.5 percent cap on public safety and other critical city services.