AUSTIN (Nexstar) — The Texas House adjourned just before 11 p.m. Sunday night without passing a compromise bill to lower property taxes, leaving a highly-anticipated deal to avoid a special session on the table.
Texas lawmakers worked into the final hours of the legislative session to bring a deal that would lower property taxes and bridge intractable odds between top Republican leaders in the House and Senate.
The House Speaker’s Office confirmed just before 10 p.m. that House negotiators signed off on a deal. Lawmakers waited in a holding pattern for multiple hours as they waited for Senate negotiators to agree to the deal.
Around 10:40 p.m., a Senate messenger announced the legislation with which the upper chamber had concurred. It did not include the conference committee report for the property tax legislation.
It is not yet clear what a deal would bring. If lawmakers attempt a last-second deal on Monday, it would require suspending the rules around session deadlines and a notable amount of legislative heavy-lifting.
This month, the House passed legislation that would raise the homestead exemption to $100,000 and to $110,000 for seniors. That legislation would also limit the amount a home’s value can raise year-over-year to five percent. The current appraisal cap is ten percent.
The Texas Senate passed legislation early in the session to raise the homestead exemption to $70,000, a significant increase over the current exemption set at $40,000. A $100,000 homestead exemption has long been a goal of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. He has said he will not accept lowering the appraisal cap.
The legislative session expires at noon Monday, May 29. Lawmakers anticipate a prompt special session to address property taxes if they cannot reach a deal before then.