Tax Caps Roll Through Texas House

House approves Senate Bill 2, a revenue cap plan opposed vociferously by local mayors, county judges, and other elected officials

Rep. Vikki Goodwin, D-Austin, failed in her attempt to force the state to pay its share of school funding before imposing local revenue caps. (Photo by Jana Birchum)

The careful choreography of the session's marquee budget, property tax, and school finance measures advanced Tuesday, April 30, with the House's approval of Senate Bill 2, the revenue cap plan opposed vociferously by local mayors, county judges, and other elected officials. House Ways and Means Com­mittee Chair Rep. Dus­tin Burrows, R-Lubbock – filling the role played in past sessions by now-House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, R-Lake Jackson – managed to push the measure closer to the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott, who watched the debate in person.

As amended by the House, SB 2 now exempts hospital and community college districts, who retain the current 8% rollback rate; more importantly, Burrows inserted a trigger that makes SB 2 contingent on the passage of school finance reform, as a goad to the foot-dragging Senate. Despite dire warnings of decimated police forces and unchecked hurricane devastation, most attempts to amend the bill on the floor failed, including a proposal by freshman Rep. Vikki Goodwin, D-Austin, to force the state to provide 50% of school funding before SB 2's caps take effect. More than 20 Democrats broke ranks to sign on to SB 2, which now goes to conference.

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86th Texas Legislature, SB 2, Dustin Burrows, Dennis Bonnen, Greg Abbot, Vikki Goodwin, tax caps

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