Two weeks ago, I wrote about the effects of soaring property taxes and about the legislation I introduced to rein in runaway appraisal values. House Bill 167 would limit appraisal increases to 5 percent for all real property – not just the residential homestead. In addition to a broad measure of restraint, I believe it’s important to make special concessions for those who have given so much for their country. The men and women of our Armed Forces have pledged their lives to defend our freedom and, in the course of doing so, many have returned home to deal with service related disabilities. That is why I have introduced HB 150.

HB 150 makes sure that the property tax does not burden disabled veterans whose houses are largely donated to them because of the severity of their injuries. Whenever a charitable organization donates a home to a disabled veteran, or provides them with a significantly discounted home, the property is eligible for a tax exemption. The amount of the tax exemption is directly proportional to the disability rating of the disabled veteran. Also in this bill is language in the legislation that these same tax breaks be extended to the surviving spouse of a disabled veteran.

Senator Brandon Creighton also has filed the companion bill in the Texas Senate – SB 240. Because the bill reduces taxes, HJR 21 also has to pass both the House and the Senate placing this matter on the ballot for Texans to vote on as an amendment of the Texas Constitution. Should HB 150 and HJR 21 pass both chambers and the governor agrees, the legislation will take effect Jan. 1, 2018.

God Bless Texas.