One of the most significant issues to be addressed in the 84th Legislative Session was cutting taxes throughout the state. This was a major priority for both Governor Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Patrick. House and Senate leaders negotiated on a deal all session long and finally came to an agreement in the closing days of session.
The deal included $3.8 billion of cuts to both the state franchise business tax and property taxes for homeowners. The House originally passed a sales tax cut but the property tax deal was adopted instead. The franchise tax is collected from all firms that do business in Texas and that rate is now cut by 25 percent to encourage economic growth in the state. The legislature also provided relief to individual homeowners as well by increasing the homestead exemption on school property taxes from $15,000 to $25,000 for the upcoming tax year. This would save homeowners about $125 a year on average. These property tax cuts must be approved by voters this November as a constitutional amendment to go into effect.
I believe that one of the best things government can do is give money back to citizens whenever possible because they know best what to do with it. They will put this money back into the economy and help lift the boats of all Texans. This legislature made progress on many other important issues, but giving taxpayers back some of their hard earned money is one of the accomplishments I am most proud of this session.