The Senate approved their version of HB 2 yesterday, the school finance companion to HB 3, the tax overhaul. While HB 3 cut property taxes, HB 2 provides for a different reduction. In HB 2, the maximum property tax rate drops to $1.15 this fall and $1.10 next year, as compared to to the maximum rates of $1.30 and $1.15 respectively in the Senate version of HB 3.
The Senate’s HB 2 cuts are closer to those passed by the House last month, leading some to optimistically speculate that agreement may be reached before the end of session, and the expected special session would not in fact be necessary.
Both bills must now be approved by a conference committee comprised of select House and Senate members.
Media coverage of the CSHB 2 passage:
Austin American- Statesman: Senate approves school finance bills
Dallas Morning News: Education funding bill clears Senate
Fort Worth Star-Telegram (free login required): Bill would raise pay for teachers, cut taxes
Houston Chronicle: Senate backs tax cut, teacher pay hike