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The Latest: Texas House OKs property tax bill cities oppose
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the Texas Legislature’s efforts to approve property tax policy that the state’s top cities say hurt their budgets (all times local):
The Texas House has advanced a bill designed to lower property taxes over objections from top cities, who say it will hamstring their budgets.
The proposal approved 98-43 late Saturday requires city and county governments to hold elections if property taxes increase by 6 percent, letting voters possibly “rollback” that increase. Final House approval should come Monday.
The state Senate has already approved requiring property tax increases of at least 4 percent to trigger such elections so the issue will now go to conference committee. Current law mandates referendums on property tax hikes worth at least 8 percent.
Rollback election bills stalled during the regular legislative session, but Gov. Greg Abbott called lawmakers back to work, demanding property tax cuts.
Local leaders have for months accused the Republican-led Legislature of “overreach.”
Texas’ big cities are booming like few places in the U.S., and mayors say Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is doing damage by trying to rein them in.
Leaders of Texas’ biggest cities, including Houston and Dallas, headed into the final weekend of a special legislative session Saturday trying to stop bills aimed at curbing municipal authority. One would require voter approval for raising local taxes above a certain threshold.
Similar power struggles between cities and states are playing out across the U.S. as GOP governors take aim at liberal urban areas where Democrats wield most influence.
In Texas, one bill opposed by cities that appears all but dead is North Carolina-style bathroom restrictions on transgender people. The measure was sidelined for the second time this year by moderate House Republicans.
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