Top Texas elected officials propose increasing sales tax to lower property tax

Top Texas elected officials propose increasing sales tax to lower property tax

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The top three elected officials in Texas have put their support behind a sales tax increase.

Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen said in a joint statement that this sales tax proposal would "buy down property tax rates for all Texas homeowners and businesses," limiting future property tax increases.

Right now, the statewide sales tax rate is 6.25%.

This proposal would raise it by one percentage point.

“7.25% is what they’re actually proposing in House Bill 2 and Senate Bill 2,” said Aaron Faver, Social Sciences Instructor at Amarillo College.

If this passes, it would be the first sales tax increase in three decades.

A member of the House Ways and Means Committee said Wednesday he was going to take the proposal back to Houston to try and gain support.

“The reason that’s significant is because he’s wanting to get some of that money to go towards public education, to schools,” said Faver. “The reason that’s important is because school property taxes end up making up about half of the taxation and property that are levied in the entire state of Texas.”

Some government officials opposed to the proposal say it disproportionately affects lower income families.

“They’re going to see a difference when they pay for a t-shirt or for a Heath bar or for a Snickers,” said Faver. “Someone who is a little higher income, they’re going to see the same significance, but it’s not going to affect them proportionately. That’s some of the push back that we’re getting from some of the Democrats and some of the moderate Republications.”

In order for this to be official, it needs approval from two-thirds of the House and Senate and a majority of Texas voters.

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