Texas’ Property Tax Battle: Lawmakers Seek Resolution

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Calls Second Special Legislative Session Focused on Property Taxes

Political Stalemate on Border Security and Immigration

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has called state lawmakers into a second special legislative session, moving away from the focus on border security and immigration. The first session concluded with a stalemate over property taxes, causing bitter disagreement among the Republican-led Legislature.

The first special session included an agenda that prioritized property taxes and border security. However, no agreements were reached on either issue, leaving the chambers at odds over how to cut property taxes and by what extent. This development adds to a series of challenges faced by the Republican Party in America’s most populous red state, including the impeachment of Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is set to be tried in the Texas Senate in September.

Second Special Session Focused Solely on Property Taxes

Abbott has now tightened the agenda for the second special session to only address property taxes. He emphasized that he will continue calling lawmakers to the Capitol until property tax cut legislation reaches his desk. While the governor reserves the right to add more agenda items later in the 30-day session, this marks a temporary pivot away from the divisive topics of immigration and border security, which have gained national attention ahead of the 2024 election.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Visits Texas-Mexico Border

This shift in focus comes as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential contender, visited the Texas-Mexico border on Monday. DeSantis unveiled his immigration policy proposal during the visit, which included ending birthright citizenship and completing a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, among other GOP immigration priorities. DeSantis echoed Abbott’s claims of an “invasion” along the southern border, asserting that Texas has the right to declare it as such.

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Allocation of Funds for Border Security

During Texas’s regular biennial session, which concluded on May 29, lawmakers allocated over $5 billion for border security. In a June announcement, Abbott’s office unveiled a new initiative involving the deployment of marine barriers in “hotspots along the Rio Grande River.” This initiative aims to enhance border security in areas where illegal crossings are prevalent.

The first batch of 1,000 water-based border security devices will be deployed near Eagle Pass, the same region where nine migrants lost their lives while attempting to cross the river in September. Abbott’s focus on border security aligns with his administration’s commitment to addressing the challenges posed by illegal immigration.

Conclusion

While Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s first special legislative session ended in a stalemate over property taxes, he has called state lawmakers into a second session solely focused on this issue. By shifting away from the controversial topics of border security and immigration, Abbott aims to address the pressing concerns of reducing property taxes in the state. The second session presents an opportunity for the Legislature to overcome their disagreements and deliver significant tax cuts for Texans.