Senate Select Committee on Property Tax Reform
Video/Audio — Archives
85th Session Interim
- February 1, 2018 — Road Meeting in Houston, TX (audio only.)
Hearing Documents and other Downloads
February 1, 2018 (Houston, Texas)
- Voter Engagement: Study and recommend ways to enhance voter engagement in local government decisions around budgets and property tax rates through digital media and social media. Determine how budget and tax rate information should be formatted for effective communication through digital and social media. Identify the ways in which digital and social media present new opportunities for voters to give feedback to local governments. Identify best practices among local governments in Texas and in other states.
- Tax Rate and Appraisal Reform: Evaluate the effective tax rate and rollback tax rate calculations and identify modifications that would yield a rollback process that is meaningful for local governments and for citizens. Evaluate whether the current rollback election trigger serves modern objectives.
Evaluate the operations of appraisal review boards (ARBs), specifically the training and expertise of members concerning appraisal standards and law, ethics, and meeting procedures. Determine whether ARB operations are sufficiently independent of central appraisal districts and taxing units and whether ARBs and/or chief appraisers should be elected.
- Property Tax Data: Evaluate whether existing libraries of property tax data and collection methods are adequate for studying local property tax outcomes and identifying drivers of growing property tax levies. Determine the scope of existing data, where it is stored, and how it is made available to the public. Determine whether existing, available data is adequate for the needs of the legislature and the public. Review existing procedures for the collection and verification of data. Receive recommendations from the comptroller regarding the collection, verification, and publication of property tax data.
- Lowering Property Tax Burden: Study the feasibility of replacing the property tax with sales tax or other consumption tax revenue, with emphasis on school maintenance and operations tax. Evaluate whether some local property taxes lend themselves to a swap more than others. Quantify the short-term and long-term economic effects of a tax swap. Identify a target property tax rate and evaluate how to reach that target with a consumption tax swap.
Interim Charges: 2017 Hurricane Harvey Response
- Evaluate how property tax law could better advance disaster recovery after Hurricane Harvey while ensuring that taxpayers are protected from excessive taxation and wasteful spending.
- Study the statutory changes necessary, if any, for a municipality to be able to redirect revenue from Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones (TIRZ) for a set period of time to assist in paying the costs associated with recovery and rebuilding necessary infrastructure following a disaster declaration by the Governor or President.