09 August 2021

Capitol Update: Working to Address Skyrocketing Property Taxes

On August 2, 1832, Texas settlers refused to surrender their arms to the Mexican Army in Nacogdoches, escalating into The Battle of Nacogdoches, which is often referred to as the opening salvo of the Texas Revolution. James Bowie marched with the Texian Militia and initialed a siege on the Mexican Garrison, eventually capturing the Old Stone Fort and other vital locations. The Mexican soldiers attempted to retreat to San Antonio, but a detachment of mounted Texians, including Bowie, ambushed them the next day after a running fight along the Angelina River. The Mexican battalion lost forty-seven men, and three Texans were killed.

With that bit of Texas history, here’s an update from your State Capitol…

Capitol Update

August 6 marked the 30th and final day of the first called Special Session of the 87th Texas Legislature. But, as you may have heard, Governor Abbott announced a second Special Session, which will begin Saturday, August 7. Once again, I’m hopeful that my Democratic colleagues will return to Austin so we can act on legislation that is critical to all Texans, such as providing a 13th-check to our retired teachers, securing our election process, reforming the bail system, and protecting Texas foster children.

Over the last week, my colleagues and I were once again engaged in discussions regarding how to tackle issues on the Governor’s agenda when we’re able to conduct business again. Much of that discussion revolved around the issue of rising property taxes in Texas. In fact, in the last twenty years, property taxes have risen at a staggering clip of 181%. In 2021 alone, there has been a statewide increase of 10-15%. And while steps have been taken to buy-down property taxes in recent years, more should be done to relieve Texas home and business owners from this ballooning cost. Governor Abbott has once again added this to the Special Session call, and I hope that my colleagues will agree that we need to use some of our state’s additional revenue to ease this tax burden.

Another issue requiring immediate action is the reinstatement of Article X of the state budget, which funds the Texas Legislature and legislative agencies. As a reminder, Governor Abbott line-item vetoed this portion of the budget, putting over 2,100 state employees in jeopardy of losing their salary, pension, and health benefits on August 31. In recent days, however, state leadership has agreed on a plan to extend funding for another 30 days. Still though, a quorum and action on election integrity and bail reform will be required on the House floor before full funding can be restored to this branch of government.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can help you in any way. My district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762. Additionally, I welcome you to follow along on my Official Facebook Page, where I will be posting regular updates on what’s happening in your State Capitol and sharing information that could be useful to you and your family: https://www.facebook.com/RepTrentAshby/.

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