The Texas Association of Realtors praises Gov. Perry's tax commission for its recommendations to improve the state's current tax structure. The Texas Tax Reform Commission, chaired by former state Comptroller John Sharp, has developed a plan to provide long-term property tax relief and improve public school funding. Texas Realtors support the panel's key proposalsreducing homeowners' tax rate for school operations and maintenance by approximately one-third and imposing a low-rate, broad-based business tax.
These tax changes proposed by the commission spread the tax burden fairly and will make it possible for more Texans to become first-time homeowners.
Last year, the Texas Supreme Court ruled portions of the state's current tax structure unconstitutional and gave lawmakers until June 1 to come up with an alternative that would allow school districts discretionary spending. The tax reform commission responded with recommendations for a predictable and flexible revenue source that does not target any industry. Applying a fair, low-rate business tax, which will allow a reduction in property taxes, will benefit Texas homeowners, prospective homeowners and the state's overall economy.
Texas has some of the highest property taxes in the nation, which significantly affects Texans' ability to own a home of their own. Currently, Texas ranks a dismal 44th among U.S. states in homeownership. Texas Realtors support policies and legislation aimed at reducing the barriers to homeownership and providing private-property owners tax relief. With more than 80,000 members statewide, the Texas Association of Realtors supports the proposals offered by the commission and lawmakers' efforts in the upcoming legislative session.
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