If two propositions pass, the state will increase school funding to make up for revenues lost from a decrease in property taxes.
Texas voters will decide whether to lower some property taxes that fund schools in a May 7 special election.
Two propositions will be on the statewide ballot. Gov. Greg Abbott officially set the upcoming election date Wednesday.
The first proposition would draw down property taxes for elderly and disabled Texans by reducing the amount they pay to public schools, which typically makes up most of a homeowner’s tax bill. The state would then cover that reduced revenue for school districts. The measure would cost the state more than $744 million from 2024 to 2026.
The second measure would raise Texas’ homestead exemption from $25,000 to $40,000 for school district property taxes, which would save the average homeowner about $176 on their annual property tax bill. If approved, this measure would cost the state $600 million annually. The state will use a $4.4 billion surplus to pay for the measure’s first-year cost, but as of October, it was unclear where future funding would come from.
Both measures passed during special legislative sessions last year with bipartisan support from lawmakers.
Photo: A student takes notes in a third grade class at Linder Elementary School in Austin last month. A May constitutional amendment election will let Texans decide whether to lower some property taxes that go to public schools. Credit: Miranda Lipton for The Texas Tribune