Tax and Budget Reform

Property Tax Reform

Governor Perry supports the recommendations of the Texas Task Force
on Appraisal Reform on how to address Texans’ continuing concerns over
skyrocketing property appraisals. The following measures currently
before the Legislature will provide better protections for Texas
taxpayers and put a stop to runaway appraisal creep:

  • Voter approval required for any property tax revenue increases that exceed 5 percent.
  • Elected representation on appraisal review boards.
  • Prevent future unfunded state mandates on local government.
  • Require sales price disclosure to increase appraisal accuracy.
  • Greater tax predictability for homebuyers.
  • Better
    protections for taxpayers by giving local communities the ability to
    lower the appraisal cap to 5% and double the homestead exemption.

Taken together, this package will improve the accuracy of
appraisals, prevent future unfunded state mandates on local government
and ensure taxpayers are no longer rendered powerless in stopping large
tax and spending increases that often occur without even a vote of
their local representatives.

State Budget Reform

Governor Perry has proposed a series of budget reforms that
establish a new, higher standard for fiscal responsibility and
truth-in-budgeting while meeting key priorities for Texas. The
governor’s budget slows government growth, provides $15 billion in
property tax relief, invests in healthcare and higher education,
eliminates accounting gimmicks, and grows the Rainy Day Fund to more
than $4 billion:

  • Stricter state spending cap tied to the average of inflation
    and population growth, which during this session would be 3.5 percent
    lower than the current limit.
  • Apply the spending cap to all state funds.
  • Exclude
    property tax relief from the spending cap because it is illogical that
    the limit—which was intended to protect taxpayers from excess
    government spending—actually ends up harming taxpayers by constraining
    tax relief.
  • Eliminate flawed budget gimmicks through one-time adjustments and give the taxpayers the honest transparent budget they deserve.
  • Eliminate,
    return or use dedicated funds as promised. Governor Perry believes a
    tax or fee collected for a specific purpose should be used for that
    purpose, or returned.

In a time of record revenues, there is a temptation to spend more
than we can sustain in the years to come. That is why it is critical
for the legislature adopt these budget reforms now and exercise
spending restraint. Governor Perry believes the principles of
disciplined governance, fiscal responsibility and truth-in-budgeting
must be embodied in the state budget.


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