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Texas Senate hopes to help seniors, disabled with property tax relief

Texas Senator Drew Springer said it could impact around two million Texans.
Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 10:43 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - As property taxes continue to go up, millions of Texans could soon see some relief.

This bill is actually a revision to House Bill 3, also known as the school finance bill, that took place during the last legislative session.

Texas Senator Drew Springer said it could impact around two million Texans.

“We compressed the tax rate for everybody, but the one thing we didn’t do is we didn’t compress it for those seniors and disabled so their tax rate stayed the same,” said Springer.

TEXAS SPECIAL SESSION COVERAGE:

While this property tax relief will save qualified home owners thousands, it stands to rack up a total savings of $3 million state-wide. It’s paid for through state sales taxes.

“We didn’t have it during the regular session simply because we didn’t think we had enough money until the comptroller came out and told us because of the Texas economy, we have that,” said Springer.

Lisa Stephens-Musick, chief appraiser at the Wichita County appraisal district, said this tax relief bill is something she feels will greatly help the 12,000 individuals 65 and over who have decided to make Wichita Falls their permanent home.

“I truly believe that what the intent would have been but when you get into the legislation process,” said Stephens-Musick. “As I watch it from afar, it’s not uncommon for them to realize ‘oops, maybe we should have caused those ceilings to have been recalculated.’”

And as long as homeowners have the proper paperwork filled through their county’s appraisal district, there is no need to apply for the tax relief.

“It’s part of the process,” said Stephens-Musick. “If they have a homestead on their property, now we have record of their birthdate in our system or we always look at the voter’s registration, then we automatically apply their over-65 exemption.”

Springer said the senate still has to wait for that bill to be voted on by the Texas House of Representatives before it can truly become law. If that doesn’t happen this week, seniors may not see those tax breaks until next year.

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