Governor Greg Abbott today delivered his State of the State, naming property taxes and school finance reform emergency items. The Texas Tribune reports on the address, and you can see the full transcript of his remarks here.
From the Tribune: “Speaking in the Texas House to both chambers of the Legislature, Abbott named as emergency items the consensus priorities of school finance reform, teacher pay raises and property tax relief, the issues he and the state’s other top two Republican leaders have trumpeted almost single-mindedly in the months since the midterm elections.
Also topping the governor’s priority list: school safety, disaster response and mental health programs. Abbott’s designation of those priorities allows lawmakers to take up such measures sooner, lifting the usual constitutional limitation that prevents the Legislature from passing bills within the first 60 days of the session.”
Abbott’s commitment to property taxes has been praised by industry representatives across the state:
Texas Association Of Business’ James Hines: “We applaud the efforts of Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Patrick and Speaker Bonnen to reduce the property tax burden and improve schools.” “We applaud the efforts of Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Patrick and Speaker Bonnen to reduce the property tax burden and improve schools. Addressing funding for schools and property tax relief will take Texas’s legendary jobs and economic climate to an even greater level. TAB stands ready to help the Governor, Lt. Governor and Speaker make our schools, workforce and economy stronger than ever.” (James Hines, Senior Vice President Of Government Affairs And In-House Counsel, Texas Association Of Business, 2/5/19)
Texas Retailers Association: “We applaud Governor Abbott and the state’s leadership for making both property tax reform and school finance major priorities for the 86th Legislative Session.” “The Texas Retailers Association represents all sectors and sizes of the retail industry in Texas. We applaud Governor Abbott and the state’s leadership for making both property tax reform and school finance major priorities for the 86th Legislative Session. TRA and its members depend on a business-friendly environment as well as a well-educated workforce for continued success in Texas. We understand the complex nature of these two very important issues and are committed to working with our state’s elected officials to make positive progress toward goals which are shared by our members, customers, and employees across the state.” (Texas Retailers Association, 2/5/19)
Texas Apartment Association’s Chris Newton: “The Texas Apartment Association applauds Gov. Greg Abbott’s call for more transparency and accountability in the property tax system.” “The Texas Apartment Association applauds Gov. Greg Abbott’s call for more transparency and accountability in the property tax system. Through his efforts and those of legislative leaders Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker Dennis Bonnen, we are hopeful that the legislature will adopt meaningful reforms that will not only limit growth in property taxes and improve the overall valuation system but also provide more consistency and certainty,” (Chris Newton, Executive Vice President, Texas Apartment Association, 2/5/19)
Texas REALTORS® Tray Bates: “Texas REALTORS® thank Gov. Abbott for making property tax reform a priority issue for the 86th Texas Legislature.” “Texas REALTORS® thank Gov. Abbott for making property tax reform a priority issue for the 86th Texas Legislature. Texans deserve more clarity in the process that is leading to increasing tax burdens, and the Legislature must do everything in its power to ensure homeownership remains in reach of all Texans.” (Tray Bates, Chairman, Texas REALTORS®, 2/5/19)