AUSTIN, Texas — Governor Greg Abbott has a threefold plan to ease property taxes for Texas homeowners. He told KVUE News that if lawmakers pass property tax reform and property appraisal reform, he would like to propose an increase of the sales tax by one penny to buy down property taxes.

"There are three parts of the puzzle that fit together to ensure that we will deliver property tax relief for people across the State of Texas," said Abbott. "One part was passed out of the Senate [Monday] that caps and limits the ability of local authorities to raise your taxes on your property. The second would be to reduce property taxes, one way to actually reduce the amount that you pay in property taxes is for the State of Texas to buy down your property tax rates by 15% or more. One way to do that would be what's called a 'sales tax swap,' where a sales tax would be raised by one penny and have that money dedicated to buying down your property tax rates by 15% or more. We would only do that if that money was absolutely dedicated for the purpose of property tax relief. But then on top of that, Ashley, we also must have appraisal reform so that we can prevent these sky-rocketing property appraisals that lead to sky-rocketing property taxes."

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Democrats and critics of the tax swap say it would disproportionately impact poor Texans, who spend a larger part of their income on sales tax. But Abbott said they actually spend more of their income on mortgages or rising rents due to property taxes. 

"There's something else to understand, and that is a sales tax is better in this regard because it means that people from outside the State of Texas who are visiting here, who are coming here to work on a temporary basis, they're paying to the State of Texas sales tax that is used to decrease our property tax. It's a way of spreading the tax responsibility."

You can watch Gov. Abbott's full interview with Ashley Goudeau on Sunday, April 21, during Texas This Week, which airs at 8:40 a.m. during KVUE News Weekend Daybreak.

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