Local property tax rollback bill makes it through the House

Public-school activists hold an ironic expensive bake sale outside the Texas Capitol in 2012

Public-school activists hold an ironic expensive bake sale outside the Texas Capitol in 2012. KUT News

Governor Greg Abbott today signed Senate Bill 5 (SB 5) to increase penalties for mail-in ballot fraud in Texas.

"It does not provide one ounce of property tax relief".

When the House passed one amendment that would let cities and counties exclude some taxes for transportation spending from the election threshold, Bonnen insinuated that he would pull the bill and successfully got his colleagues to reconsider their vote.

State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, who unsuccessfully attempted to extend the time period for reporting complications during the House's debate on the bill, said the bill would place a regulatory burden on doctors who preform abortions for "no other reason than harassment". The House has approved a school finance reform bill, and the Senate was scheduled to take up its own version of the topic Saturday. Chief among those is agreeing on the amount of a property tax increase that will require voter approval. Currently, voters can petition for an election to roll back the tax rate if the city or county's new revenue exceeds 8 percent.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration of changes.

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President Trump wrote on Twitter on Friday that U.S. "But the objective of capable, ready forces is to preserve peace and prevent war".

Bonnen staved off amendments to the measure to honor commitments he made to his colleagues in order to move the contentious bill through his committee and the Calendars Committee to the full chamber for a vote. The Senate could ask for a conference committee to negotiate differences.

"So we have a choice today of whether we want to protect taxpayers by making significant progress or we can choose to give them nothing", said Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R) of Texas House District 25.

Supporters said HB 214 was needed to prevent abortion opponents from having to subsidize coverage for a procedure they disagree with, while opponents said it was another attack on abortion access, and Democrats criticized Republicans for opposing efforts to exempt pregnancies that result from rape or incest. They said that no woman can anticipate needing to have an abortion, and that the measure would hurt low-income women the most.

The bill would be paid for by delaying payments to Medicaid managed care organizations in the upcoming two-year budget cycle to the 2020-21 biennium.

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