— Property tax cuts will be one of the dominant topics of debate during this legislative session, and the fight over how much to spend on them is starting to take shape. 

  1. Texas Republicans campaigned heavily on cutting homeowners’ exorbitant property tax bills

    1. on a nearly $33 billion budget surplus, Gov. Greg Abbott has made a big promise: using half of that money to reduce property owners’ tax burden.

    2. Part of the fight will deal with whether to use less funds on property tax cuts and more on public schools, infrastructure and other needs. 

    3. Texas Democrats have their own ideas about what to do with the extra funds, including a $15,000 pay raise for Texas teachers, which would cost $12 billion over the next two years.

  2. Texas relies on local property taxes to pay for government services like public schools, police departments and road maintenance – combined with lack of income tax leads to one of the highest property tax bills in country 

  3. Budget writers in the House and Senate have proposed $15 billion toward property tax cuts over the next 2 years.

    1. $5.3 billion would maintain existing cuts under the 87th legislature school finance law and help reduce property taxes even more.

    2. The other $9.7 billion would be new but it’s not clear yet how they would be used 

    3. Greg Abbott told reporters that he considered the $15 B “a good start” but he has vowed to spend at least one half of the $32.7 B surplus on property tax cuts 

  4. Senate Finance draft of the state’s next 2 year spending plan sets aside $3 billion to boost the state’s homestead exemption on school district taxes from $40,000 to $70,000 https://senate.texas.gov/news.php?id=20230118a 

  5. Both House and Senate budget proposals each raise the possibility of further “buying down” property taxes (apply to both personal & business properties) 

    1. Dan Patrick has discussed raising business’s ‘personal property’ tax break (on items like furniture) from its current $2500 limit https://www.texastribune.org/2022/11/30/dan-patrick-texas-legislature-priorities/ 

  6. There was a property tax collection (Senate Bill 12) revision from 2021 that just took effect on Jan 1, 2023

    1. limits the amount of property taxes a school district can levy on the homestead of an elderly or disabled person


  • Did you know that land in Timber valuation was originally not qualified to convert to wildlife management valuation? Legislation in 2009 changed this and ensured all landowners in open-space had the same rights.
  • Did you know that ag, timber, and wildlife guidelines are often enforced differently from county to county? While the law gives appraisal districts some flexibility, there are state-wide standards that all must follow.
  • Did you know that beekeeping wasn’t an eligible agricultural use until 2012, when legislation was passed to make it so?
  • Did you know that owners of Texas land have several options to maintain lower property taxes on their land:
    • Agricultural (Ag) use – including livestock, farming, Wildlife Management, Beekeeping, or Exotic Livestock
    • Ecolab
  • Timber use
    Recreational, park, or scenic use (of private land)
  • Protecting Texas land is an issue every Texan should care about. 142 million acres of working lands in Texas are owned by less than 1% of the population. These lands provide our food, fiber, wildlife habitat, scenic views, and clean water. The representatives of over 27 million people are not going to hear the voices of 250,000 landowners without help. TREAD Coalition is the answer.

Join TREAD and help us educate the legislature about what matters to rural landowners.