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Sec. 26.075. PETITION ELECTION TO REDUCE TAX RATE OF TAXING UNIT OTHER THAN SCHOOL DISTRICT

Sec. 26.075. PETITION ELECTION TO REDUCE TAX RATE OF TAXING UNIT OTHER THAN SCHOOL DISTRICT

(a) This section applies only to a taxing unit other than:

(1) a special taxing unit;

(2) a school district; or

(3) a municipality with a population of 30,000 or more.

(b) This section applies to a taxing unit only in a tax year in which the taxing unit’s:

(1) de minimis rate exceeds the taxing unit’s voter-approval tax rate; and

(2) adopted tax rate is:

(A) equal to or lower than the taxing unit’s de minimis rate; and

(B) greater than the greater of the taxing unit’s:

(i) voter-approval tax rate calculated as if the taxing unit were a special taxing unit; or

(ii) voter-approval tax rate.

(c) The qualified voters of a taxing unit by petition may require that an election be held to determine whether to reduce the tax rate adopted by the governing body of the taxing unit for the current tax year to the voter-approval tax rate.

(d) A petition is valid only if the petition:

(1) states that it is intended to require an election in the taxing unit on the question of reducing the taxing unit’s adopted tax rate for the current tax year;

(2) is signed by a number of registered voters of the taxing unit equal to at least three percent of the registered voters of the taxing unit determined according to the most recent list of those voters; and

(3) is submitted to the governing body of the taxing unit not later than the 90th day after the date on which the governing body adopts the tax rate for the current tax year.

(e) Not later than the 20th day after the date on which a petition is submitted, the governing body shall determine whether the petition is valid and must by resolution state the governing body’s determination. If the governing body fails to make the determination in the time and manner required by this subsection, the petition is considered to be valid for the purposes of this section.

(f) If the governing body determines that the petition is valid or fails to make the determination in the time and manner required by Subsection (e), the governing body shall order that an election be held in the taxing unit on the next uniform election date that allows sufficient time to comply with the requirements of other law.

(g) At the election, the ballots shall be prepared to permit voting for or against the proposition: “Reducing the tax rate in (name of taxing unit) for the current year from (insert tax rate adopted for current year) to (insert voter-approval tax rate).”

(h) If a majority of the votes cast in the election favor the proposition, the tax rate for the current tax year is the voter-approval tax rate.

(i) If the proposition is not approved as provided by Subsection (h), the tax rate for the taxing unit for the current tax year is the tax rate adopted by the governing body of the taxing unit for the current tax year.

(j) If the tax rate is reduced by an election held under this section after tax bills for the taxing unit have been mailed, the assessor for the taxing unit shall prepare and mail corrected tax bills. The assessor shall include with the bill a brief explanation of the reason for and effect of the corrected bill. The date on which the taxes become delinquent for the tax year is extended by a number of days equal to the number of days between the date the first tax bills were sent and the date the corrected tax bills were sent.

(k) If a property owner pays taxes calculated using the higher tax rate when the tax rate is reduced by an election held under this section, the taxing unit shall refund the difference between the amount of taxes paid and the amount due under the reduced tax rate if the difference between the amount of taxes paid and the amount due under the reduced tax rate is $1 or more. If the difference between the amount of taxes paid and the amount due under the reduced rate is less than $1, the taxing unit shall refund the difference on request of the taxpayer. An application for a refund of less than $1 must be made within 90 days after the date the refund becomes due or the taxpayer forfeits the right to the refund.

(l) Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, this section does not apply to a tax imposed by a taxing unit if a provision of an uncodified local or special law enacted by the 86th Legislature, Regular Session, 2019, or by an earlier legislature provides that Section 26.07 does not apply to a tax imposed by the taxing unit.

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 944 (S.B. 2), Sec. 52, eff. January 1, 2020.

Sec. 26.08. AUTOMATIC ELECTION TO APPROVE TAX RATE OF SCHOOL DISTRICT. (a) If the governing body of a school district adopts a tax rate that exceeds the district’s voter-approval tax rate, the registered voters of the district at an election held for that purpose must determine whether to approve the adopted tax rate.

(a-1) Repealed by Acts 2021, 87th Leg., R.S., Ch. 884 (S.B. 1438), Sec. 10(4), eff. June 16, 2021.

(b) The governing body shall order that the election be held in the school district on the next uniform election date prescribed by Section 41.001, Election Code, that occurs after the date of the election order and that allows sufficient time to comply with the requirements of other law. At the election, the ballots shall be prepared to permit voting for or against the proposition: “Ratifying the ad valorem tax rate of ___ (insert adopted tax rate) in (name of school district) for the current year, a rate that will result in an increase of _____ (insert percentage increase in maintenance and operations tax revenue under the adopted tax rate as compared to maintenance and operations tax revenue in the preceding tax year) percent in maintenance and operations tax revenue for the district for the current year as compared to the preceding year, which is an additional $____ (insert dollar amount of increase in maintenance and operations tax revenue under the adopted tax rate as compared to maintenance and operations tax revenue in the preceding tax year).”

(c) If a majority of the votes cast in the election favor the proposition, the tax rate for the current year is the rate that was adopted by the governing body.

(d) If the proposition is not approved as provided by Subsection (c), the governing body may not adopt a tax rate for the school district for the current year that exceeds the school district’s voter-approval tax rate.

(d-1) If, after tax bills for the school district have been mailed, a proposition to approve the school district’s adopted tax rate is not approved by the voters of the district at an election held under this section, on subsequent adoption of a new tax rate by the governing body of the district, the assessor for the school shall prepare and mail corrected tax bills. The assessor shall include with each bill a brief explanation of the reason for and effect of the corrected bill. The date on which the taxes become delinquent for the year is extended by a number of days equal to the number of days between the date the first tax bills were sent and the date the corrected tax bills were sent.

(d-2) If a property owner pays taxes calculated using the originally adopted tax rate of the school district and the proposition to approve the adopted tax rate is not approved by voters, the school district shall refund the difference between the amount of taxes paid and the amount due under the subsequently adopted rate if the difference between the amount of taxes paid and the amount due under the subsequent rate is $1 or more. If the difference between the amount of taxes paid and the amount due under the subsequent rate is less than $1, the school district shall refund the difference on request of the taxpayer. An application for a refund of less than $1 must be made within 90 days after the date the refund becomes due or the taxpayer forfeits the right to the refund.

(e) For purposes of this section, local tax funds dedicated to a junior college district under Section 45.105(e), Education Code, shall be eliminated from the calculation of the tax rate adopted by the governing body of the school district. However, the funds dedicated to the junior college district are subject to Section 26.085.

(f) Repealed by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 3.01(c), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

(g) In a school district that received distributions from an equalization tax imposed under former Chapter 18, Education Code, the no-new-revenue rate of that tax as of the date of the county unit system’s abolition is added to the district’s voter-approval tax rate.

(h) For purposes of this section, increases in taxable values and tax levies occurring within a reinvestment zone under Chapter 311 (Tax Increment Financing Act), in which the district is a participant, shall be eliminated from the calculation of the tax rate adopted by the governing body of the school district.

(i) For purposes of this section, “enrichment tax rate” has the meaning assigned by Section 45.0032, Education Code.

(n) For purposes of this section, the voter-approval tax rate of a school district is the sum of the following:

(1) the rate per $100 of taxable value that is equal to the district’s maximum compressed tax rate, as determined under Section 48.2551, Education Code, for the current year;

(2) the greater of:

(A) the district’s enrichment tax rate for the preceding tax year, less any amount by which the district is required to reduce the district’s enrichment tax rate under Section 48.202(f), Education Code, in the current tax year; or

(B) the rate of $0.05 per $100 of taxable value; and

(3) the district’s current debt rate.

(n-1) Repealed by Acts 2021, 87th Leg., R.S., Ch. 915 (H.B. 3607), Sec. 19.002, eff. September 1, 2021.

(o) Repealed by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 943 (H.B. 3), Sec. 4.001(c)(1), eff. September 1, 2019.

(p) Repealed by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 943 (H.B. 3), Sec. 4.001(c)(1), eff. September 1, 2019.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2280, ch. 841, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., 1st C.S., p. 166, ch. 13, Sec. 120, eff. Jan. 1, 1982; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 5377, ch. 987, Sec. 4, eff. June 19, 1983; Acts 1984, 68th Leg., 2nd C.S., ch. 28, art. II, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1984; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 947, Sec. 10, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 22, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 20, 26, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 347, Sec. 2.04, eff. May 31, 1993; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 728, Sec. 85, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 47, eff. May 30, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 506, Sec. 4, eff. Aug. 28, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 828, Sec. 4(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 592, Sec. 2.03, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 1.40, 3.01(c), eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1187, Sec. 2.11, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2006, 79th Leg., 3rd C.S., Ch. 5 (H.B. 1), Sec. 1.14, eff. May 31, 2006.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 777 (S.B. 1024), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 943 (H.B. 3), Sec. 1.063, eff. September 1, 2019.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 943 (H.B. 3), Sec. 1.065, eff. January 1, 2020.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 943 (H.B. 3), Sec. 1A.008, eff. January 1, 2020.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 943 (H.B. 3), Sec. 4.001(c)(1), eff. September 1, 2019.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 944 (S.B. 2), Sec. 53, eff. January 1, 2020.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 944 (S.B. 2), Sec. 54, eff. January 1, 2020.

Acts 2021, 87th Leg., R.S., Ch. 884 (S.B. 1438), Sec. 10(4), eff. June 16, 2021.

Acts 2021, 87th Leg., R.S., Ch. 915 (H.B. 3607), Sec. 19.002, eff. September 1, 2021.

Property Tax Protection Program™ Benefits

  • No flat fees or upfront costs.  No cost ever unless your property taxes are reduced.
  • All practical efforts are made every year to reduce your property taxes.
  • Never miss another appeal deadline.
  • Property taxes protested for you annually.
  • You do not have to accept the appraisal district’s initial guesstimate of value.
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  • Free support regarding homestead exemptions.
  • Some years are good – typically 6 to 7 out of 10 will result in tax reduction for you.
  • The other 3 to 4 years out of 10 we strike out. Most often due to people issues in the hearing process. Some years we get an easy appraiser at the informal; some years someone who is impossible to settle with.
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