Southwest Austin Dripping Springs Edition | April 2023


News from the 88th legislative session


Texas Senate approves package for $16.5B in property tax relief

TAX RELIEF TRIO Three bills aimed at property tax relief have passed in the Texas Senate. Senate Bill 3 • Increases the portion of a home’s value that cannot be taxed from $40,000 to $70,000 • Increases exemption for people over age 65 and the disabled from $10,000 to $30,000 Senate Bill 4 • Cuts school property tax rates by $0.07 per $100 valuation • Has the state of Texas pay school districts at least $5.38 billion to make up for lost revenue Senate Bill 5 • Increases the portion of a business’ property that cannot be taxed from $2,500 to $25,000 • Provides businesses with a 20% tax credit for inventory and property Texas House, which crafted its own property tax relief package. If both chambers and the governor pass either package, Texas voters will decide on the matter in November. ? WHAT’S NEXT? The bills were sent to the

Sign up for our newsletter at for daily updates throughout the session. SUBSCRIBE TODAY House Bill 2390 Referred to the Elections Committee on March 9, would prohibit polling place locations on higher education campuses. REP. CARRIE ISAAC District 79 • Republican • Elected 2022 House Bill 1048 Referred to the Business & Industry Committee on March 2, this bill would require landlords to provide tenants with notification of any planned rent increase no later than seven days before a tenant would be required to provide notice to vacate. REP. GINA HINOJOSA District 49 • Democrat • Elected 2016 “TRANS ATHLETES IN COLLEGIATE COMPETITIONS ARE RARE. WHEN THEY DO SEEK TO COMPETE, THE NCAA HAS ALREADY EXHIBITED AND WILL CONTINUE TO EXHIBIT THE EXPERTISE TO LEVEL THE PLAYING SEN. SARAH ECKHARDT, D-AUSTIN, COMMENTING ON SENATE BILL 15, WHICH, IF PASSED, WOULD REQUIRE COLLEGE STUDENTS TO COMPETE ON SPORTS TEAMS BASED ON THEIR SEX ASSIGNED AT BIRTH UPDATES FROM LOCAL LEGISLATORS FIELD ON A CASE- BY-CASE BASIS.”


bill would increase the portion of a home’s value that cannot be taxed from $40,000 to $70,000, which lawmakers have said would save the average homeowner $341 annually. SB 4, which is also by Bettencourt, would cut school property tax rates by $0.07 per $100 valuation. The bill states Texas would provide school districts with at least $5.38 billion to make up for the lost revenue. SB 5 was filed by Parker, a freshman senator. The bill is intended to save business owners money by increasing the business personal property tax exemption—or the portion of a busi- ness’ personal property that cannot be taxed—from $2,500 to $25,000. Business owners would also receive a 20% credit for the taxes they pay on inventory and property. Parker said the goal of SB 5 is to give money back to Texans. The bills have been sent to the Texas House.

In a unanimous vote, Texas senators passed a $16.5 billion property tax relief package on March 22. Cutting property taxes for home- owners and businesses has been listed as a top priority for Republicans this session, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Gov. Greg Abbott. The package aims to save Texans money on their property tax bills by increasing the state homestead exemption, cutting school district property tax rates and limiting how much businesses can be taxed for their personal property. Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, authored two of the bills alongside Sen. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound. The first component of the package, Senate Bill 3, would impact the state’s homestead exemption, which is a reduction in a portion of a home’s value for tax purposes. The


$120M set for state broadband expansion

GETTING THE GRANT The state's Broad- band Development


speeds of 100 megabits per second. The application will be open until May 5, at which point all eligible appli- cations will be posted online for public review, according to Hegar’s office. The Broadband Development Office was formed in 2021 to create a statewide broadband development plan and publish a map highlighting areas in Texas that are eligible for broadband expansion, among other initiatives.

The Texas Broadband Development Office will award $120 million in grants to governments, school districts and internet providers bringing broadband access to underserved communities, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said. Applications opened April 3 for the Bringing Online Opportunities to Texas program. Eligible projects must be designed to provide internet service that “reliably meets or exceeds”

Office is offering local entities an opportunity to apply for a portion of $120 million in grants for internet expansion.

For more information and to access the application form, scan the QR code:


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