Keep up with what’s happening in the Texas rental housing industry

Special session underway

Synopsis

The first 2021 Texas Legislative Special Session opened July 8, with legislators called back to Austin to tackle a number of issues on the governor’s agenda.


Key takeaways

  • Gov. Greg Abbott designated 11 items for legislators to take up during the special session called to begin on July 8. Items on his agenda include election integrity, bail reform and border security, as well as a host of social policy issues. 
  • Special sessions are limited to 30 days and may only address issues identified by the governor. Legislators are also expected back later in the fall to tackle redistricting and other issues.
  • One of the items on the governor’s agenda calls on the Legislature to use general revenue funds to appropriate funds for property-tax relief. Revenue estimates were increased prior to the session starting due to a stronger-than-anticipated economy. 

While the regular legislative session ended on May 31, legislators were called back to Austin on July 8 by Gov. Greg Abbott for the beginning of a special session.

Special sessions are limited to 30 days and may only consider topics named by the governor. Gov. Abbott has designated a list of 11 items for legislators to take up, including election integrity, bail reform and border security, as well as a host of social policy issues. Read the announcement from the governor’s office to learn more. 

Of particular interest to the rental housing industry is the item calling on the Legislature to use general revenue funds to appropriate funds for property-tax relief. While it will be up to legislators to determine how to address the issue, it is thought that state funds will likely be used to compress (or buy down) local school tax rates.

Due to a stronger-than-anticipated economy, Comptroller Glenn Hegar revised the state’s revenue estimate by adding approximately $7 billion for the 2021-2023 budget cycle for lawmakers to be able to spend. The revised estimate was released prior to the onset of the special session.

Regardless of this special session’s outcome, legislators are also expected back in Austin sometime in the fall to take up redistricting and other issues.

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