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Upcoming election will allow voters to decide if the Property Tax Relief Bill will go into effect

7 months 1 week 3 days ago Monday, July 24 2023 Jul 24, 2023 July 24, 2023 12:33 PM July 24, 2023 in News - Local

With election season just months away, there is one item on the ballot that could impact property taxes.

The Property Tax Relief Bill is sitting on the governor's desk, but voters will decide in November if it goes into effect.

"It was long overdue, and we were biting our nails as tax assessor collectors, because we have to get our tax bill out," Cameron County Tax Assessor Collector Tony Yzaguirre said.

October is when Yzaguirre's office prepares to send out next year's tax bills.

"So the huge issue that we had...was the tax bills are going to be mailed out without the exemption," Yzaguirre said. "It was a conflict. It was going to be chaos in my office and taxpayers would be confused getting two different bills."

Yzaguirre and his staff are preparing to send out homestead exemption paperwork to people who qualify. The move was authorized by state legislatures, even though voters haven't yet made their choice. 

"If for some reason it's not voted on, and it fails, then my office is going to have to send out a second notice before the end of December to collect the remaining taxes that we're not included in the original tax bill," Yzaguirre said.

However, Yzaguirre says voters will give it a green light. He says the last time a similar plan to raise the homestead exemption went before voters, it passed.

Besides raising homestead exemption, the plan also calls for placing temporary appraisal caps, and cutting school taxes.

"We homeowners will be paying less in taxes, so that's less revenue to the school districts. So the legislatures are going to appropriate funds to them to make up hopefully the difference, so they don't see shortfalls in their revenue," Political Science Department Chair at South Texas College Mark Murray said.

The bill will use $12 billion of the $18 billion towards reducing school property taxes. Murray worries that won't be enough for school districts.

"Next year, the taxes that they receive are going to be less than what they received this year and there's no more funding coming in for them. So I'm concerned that the [school district's] are going to have to start tightening their belts," Murray said.

Murray also believes voters will pass the bill, but he recommends everyone do their research ahead of election day.

Watch the video above for the full story.

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