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by srothstein
Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:48 am
Forum: 2017 Texas Legislative Session
Topic: 2017 Special Session called
Replies: 80
Views: 12949

Re: 2017 Special Session called

SewTexas wrote:
srothstein wrote:
SewTexas wrote:Also there's a rumor that Abbott is considering just stringing special Sessions together until the next election to keep them from raising money for their elections.
I doubt this is more than some enemy spreading rumors. Abbott already announced that this would be the only special session when he called it. He said if they could not get his agenda done during that time, they weren't "trying" (I read that as they would not ever agree).
I think it was someone on the Ethics and Investigations Committee? I can't remember, I'd been listening to some Land Use type of Committee on the Annexation Bill and when they were done I popped over to see what the other one was talking about. It was boring so I went to Doctor Who. Gotta have something on while I work on jewelry. Everyone seemed to agree that he had said it. I guess we'll find out in a few weeks.
This week is going to be interesting, we'll finally see if people are going to show up and work. I can understand the Senate not being there for the first part of the week, but by the end of the week the House had sent over quite a few bills, they could have been working, and why were there NO committees meeting? NONE!
I agree that it will be interesting. I have been following the one group of bills that seem likely to get some version passed, the property tax reform. I have not followed anything else quite as closely since those are part of my job to watch.

It is not unusual during a special session to have periods like this with no committee meetings for a while. The Senate passed something on almost all of these bills and sent them to the House. The House has passed a few different versions of some bills and sent them to the Senate. What happens next in cases like this (two houses which disagree on how to handle certain issues) is that the two opposing houses will not refer the bill they receive to a committee until they see what the other house does with their bill. If the difference is minor enough (like property tax is reform is getting to be right now), the informal and unofficial conference will sort out which bill goes forward. This is when Strauss and Patrick meet and see what they can agree to push through their house.

I think some property tax reform of some type will get pushed through. I think some form of school finance help (not true reform) will also pass this time. I doubt much else will get through and I doubt there will be any more special sessions. I have noticed that the House has not yet referred the bathroom bill to any committee and it looks to me like they intend to kill any discussion of that issue. I don't even know what other issues they have left to discuss besides these three areas that are dominating the news and talk around Austin.
by srothstein
Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:39 am
Forum: 2017 Texas Legislative Session
Topic: 2017 Special Session called
Replies: 80
Views: 12949

Re: 2017 Special Session called

All the sunset legislation has passed already.
by srothstein
Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:13 am
Forum: 2017 Texas Legislative Session
Topic: 2017 Special Session called
Replies: 80
Views: 12949

Re: 2017 Special Session called

SewTexas wrote:Also there's a rumor that Abbott is considering just stringing special Sessions together until the next election to keep them from raising money for their elections.
I doubt this is more than some enemy spreading rumors. Abbott already announced that this would be the only special session when he called it. He said if they could not get his agenda done during that time, they weren't "trying" (I read that as they would not ever agree).
by srothstein
Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:14 pm
Forum: 2017 Texas Legislative Session
Topic: 2017 Special Session called
Replies: 80
Views: 12949

Re: 2017 Special Session called

sjfcontrol wrote:Actually, TAM, we don't pay the same tax rate. Once one of you reach 65 you're eligible for the ov-65 exemption which freezes both the rate and the valuation of your property (at least for school taxes). So while everybody else's taxes increase, ours stay pretty much the same.
Technical correction. Being age 65 freezes neither the rate nor the valuation of the house. It freezes the tax levy so that the school taxes do not go up. And the beauty of this freeze is that it applies (sort of) when you move. If you get a new house, your percentage of tax benefit is applied to the first year taxes in the new house, and then they are frozen at that level. This is how some people end up with tax levies of 0 for their school.

There is a bad side. The actual tax goes down if the valuation or tax rate does and it can go back up to the freeze level if the valuation or freeze go up.
Which brings me to the current effort to "reduce" prop taxes. But what I read was that it would restrict the increases to some fixed percentage without a vote to increase it beyond that. THAT is not a decrease!
This is the big debate going on in the house right now. A group of the representatives want property tax reform. They want the process changed to slow down or stop tax increases and are acknowledging that they cannot get it down right now. Another group want tax relief, reducing the tax bill now. They are not as concerned about the process but want lower taxes now. The problem with the reform group is that they are not getting you a break now and need to convince you this is the right thing to do for the long term security. The problem with the relief group is they acknowledge that there is a cost to pay and cannot figure a realistic way to replace the tax money in the budget. The big proposals are increases in the sales tax rate (and I saw 12% on one bill) which is a bad choice for school funding.
by srothstein
Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:41 pm
Forum: 2017 Texas Legislative Session
Topic: 2017 Special Session called
Replies: 80
Views: 12949

Re: 2017 Special Session called

Oldgringo wrote:
Ameer wrote:
allow parents to use taxpayer money to send their children to private schools.
I want to use public transportation money to buy myself a private car.
We are forced to pay ISD property taxes every year since we've lived in Texas and have never had, nor ever will have, any family member in the local schools. Why can't we have a say in these taxes we are forced to pay for the public schooling of the spawn of other folk? Just askin'.....
You do have a say in the taxes. You can vote on them if they get too high and you can vote for members of the school board. You can even run for the school board and have a more direct say, both on the taxes and on how they are spent.

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