Texas House approves Senate bill dealing with property taxes

With three days left in the Texas Legislature's Special Session -- the House advanced a bill on Governor Greg Abbott's top priority: property taxes.

AUSTIN - With three days left in the Texas Legislature's Special Session, the House advanced a bill on Governor Greg Abbott's top priority: property taxes. 

The House passed Senate Bill 1 (SB1) on all three readings Monday, but it was not without much debate.

The Senate version of SB 1 decreases the rollback rate,  which is the maximum percentage cities and counties can increase property taxes without an election, from eight-percent to four-percent. The House approved version makes it six-percent.

There were three other amendments set to be offered on the bill, including one from the bill's sponsor, Representative Dennis Bonnen (Angleton), but with the clock ticking on the Special Session Representative Dan Huberty (R-Houston) acquired enough signatures to force a vote without hearing the amendments.

That upset the Freedom Caucus, which lead to members speaking over each other, snappy comments and heated exchanges on the House floor.

The House voted 105-41 to approve the bill. It will now go back to the Senate where the bill's author can concur with the amendments added by the House or request a conference committee to work out the differences.

The House also initially approved SB16 which creates a commission to study school finance. Meanwhile, the Senate is taking up HB 21, the House's school finance reform bill. 

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