Jesse Quackenbush

Lowering Property Taxes

Every election cycle, politicians lie to voters promising they will lower property taxes in Texas. The reality is that there is virtually no level of truth to any of their promises. Why? Because Texas has itself in a real tough situation. Property taxes are used primarily to fund education. Education costs increase and never decrease. Until a new revenue source is established, property taxes will only go up. The choices which have been proposed are not popular: income taxes and/or new sales taxes. Nobody agrees with new or higher taxes or saddling any particular industry with taxes. Therefore, the only solution is to find a new revenue source which is the least inconvenient for all. 

I’m the only candidate in the House District 87 Republican Primary who is proposing new and original ideas for major issue, including a plan to lower property taxes. My plan is called “Texas Property Tax Rebate Program For The Elderly.” Essentially, this is how the plan will work. 

Texas residential property owners age 65 or older may qualify each year for a property tax rebate equal to 15% of their total taxes or $3,500.00 per year, whichever is greater. To qualify, the homeowner must meet the following criteria.

  • Age 65 on or before the property tax deadline;
  • Property taxes must be paid in full on or before the property tax deadline;
  • The subject property must be the taxpayer’s primary and only residence;
  • Property owner must not owe any money for child support; 
  • Property owner must not be earning more than $75,000.00 per year if single or $100,000.00 if married;
  • The property must not be subject to any state or federal tax liens;
  • The property owner must file for the rebate within 60 days of the tax deadline; and 
  • Home business and/or income producing rental properties are excluded. 

So, how will we pay for this rebate? Texas will create a new Litigation Use Tax on all parties including the Texas Attorney General and the State of Texas, who pay or receive a financial settlement or judgement after entering civil litigation. All parties will pay their proportionate share of 5% of the total settlement amount. Attorneys for each party will be responsible for collecting and paying the taxes to the State within 14 days of funding. All taxes will be earmarked for use by the Plan. Rebate percentages and maximum amounts will be adjusted annually with inflation. 

The intended purpose of this Plan is to provide immediate direct assistance to low-income elderly homeowners with hope that they might be able to remain in their homes as long as they desire. If successful, the Plan could be expanded to all homeowners.

An unintended but probable consequence of this Plan will be to reduce civil litigation in our judicial system and save even more money.