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TAX REDUCTION ACCORD REACHED

Abbott, Patrick, Straus announce tax relief compromise

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus on May 21 jointly announced a $3.8 billion tax relief package for Texas businesses and homeowners.

According to the announcement, the agreement reached by Patrick and Straus on a tax proposal, along with additional legislation, includes:

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1. A 25 percent permanent reduction in the business margins tax;

2. A $10,000 increase in the homestead exemption, beginning in 2015, subject to passage of a constitutional amendment adopted in the November election; and

3. SB 1760, legislation requiring a 60 percent vote of the governing body of any taxing unit wishing to adopt an increase in property taxes that exceeds the effective tax rate.

“Texas leaders have come together to advance conservative principles that will improve the lives of Texans and continue to make Texas the model for doing business,” Abbott said. “Every dollar businesses and homeowners pay in taxes is a dollar that could be invested in new jobs, higher wages and stimulating the Texas economy.”

Meanwhile, the passage of a state budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017, the Legislature’s primary task, is in its final stages. The buzz around the Capitol before Memorial Day weekend was that with tax relief resolved, an agreement on the budget that will satisfy the governor’s expectations will soon follow.