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Patrick says Abbott ‘can’t have it both ways’ on vetoing bills | Texas

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www.thecentersquare.com – By Bethany Blankley | contributor – 2023-06-19 16:32:00

(The Center Square) – After Gov. Greg Abbott vowed to veto bills the legislature passed with bipartisan support, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said the governor “can't have it both ways. He is telling the House and Senate to work together on property taxes while vetoing legislation that the House and Senate worked on together.”

In a series of tweets, Patrick said Abbott was vetoing bills that made it through a very difficult session, simply because “the Speaker and the House walked off the job and went on vacation. The Senate has been working.”

The governor vetoed over 50 bills specifically related to the legislative impasse.  He vetoed another roughly 20 bills unrelated to the impasse. 

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On May 30, after the Senate and House passed differing property tax relief bills, the Senate continued to hold hearings on border security, and is still in session. The House adjourned.

“The Senate and I are committed to delivering real property tax relief to the average Texas homeowner,” Patrick said. “The House Plan benefits big business and the wealthiest Texans the most.”

Referring to a $65 million estate for sale in the Hunters Creek neighborhood of Houston, he said, “This Houston home would get a $176,561 tax cut, and the average homeowner would get just $712. Under our Senate Plan, both houses would get the same $100,000 homestead exemption.

“The Senate doesn't take money from the average homeowner and give it to big business and the wealthiest. I won't back down in the fight for property tax relief for everyday Texans.”

As Abbott began vetoing bills, Patrick posted another statement on social media stating the “Abbott/House Property Tax Relief Plan” was “lies masquerading as the truth.”

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He also said it's a “fantasy to think that we can simply do away with property taxes in Texas,” referring to Abbott's proposal. Abbott has said his plan is to over time eliminate only the school district maintenance and operation (M&O) taxes, not all property taxes.

Abbott called the first special legislative session on May 29, which lasts for 30 days. However, in the House it lasted for less than 24 hours. The House passed the two bills on the governor's call and left Austin.

Since the House has already adjourned and since Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has said he isn't budging on his approach to property tax relief, a second special legislative session is expected to be called before the end of the month.

The governor said in his veto statements for scores of bills that they could be reconsidered in a future legislative session after the legislature passes the property tax relief plan he's proposed, which the House passed and the Senate didn't.

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The Senate's plan includes reducing compression (what is owed through M&O taxes) and increasing the homestead exemption.

Patrick has argued that he “will not step back from this. I might be the last guy standing, but I will be the last guy standing. Homeowners deserve real property tax cuts. That's a combination of compression and homestead exemptions.”

Abbott's goal, he argues, is to reduce compression over time to eliminate the school district M&O tax and move “toward transformational change in the state of Texas.

“The goal that I've articulated … that the House has supported … is to use money to engage in what's called compression, which is buying down the property tax rates of maintenance and operations in school districts. Every dollar we spend should go towards that goal so that once and for all we can be known as actually eliminating one of the property taxes in Texas.

“Any time that we use money for an alternative strategy,” he said, as in the homestead exemption, “that's taking money away from a clearly articulated goal that Texans want – to eliminate the M&O tax forever. It's the largest part of the property tax bill that we should try to eliminate.”

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Cedar Park falls to No. 1 Mansfield Timberview in semis

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www.kxan.com – Billy Gates – 2024-02-29 23:25:12

SUMMARY: Cedar Park’s girls basketball team lost 67-45 to Mansfield Timberview in the 5A semifinals. Timberview had a strong second quarter, outrebounding Cedar Park 51-29 and dominating on second-chance points. Kennedy Carlyle led Cedar Park with 19 points, while Mariah Davis struggled shooting but contributed 10 points, five rebounds, and five assists. For Timberview, Brooklyn Terry and Kamryn Wilson scored 13 points each, with Wilson also grabbing 12 rebounds for a double-double. Cedar Park’s season ended with a 27-12 record, while Timberview advanced to the state title game against Frisco Liberty after defeating Cedar Park.

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100-year-old Central California woman celebrates 25th birthday on Leap Day

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abc13.com – KFSN – 2024-02-29 22:25:46

SUMMARY: Helen Davidson of Park Visalia Assisted Living & Memory Care celebrates her 100th birthday, which is only her 25th because she was born on a leap year. She credits her faith and family for a full life and emphasizes the importance of being a good person. Davidson’s daughter praises her mother’s likable and fun personality and her dedication to physical activity. Growing up on a farm in Kansas, Davidson later became a teacher after earning a degree from Fresno State. Her family plans to celebrate her milestone with a weekend of festivities, and Davidson expresses gratitude for their presence.

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Airbnb: Austin, Hill Country most booked ahead of solar eclipse weekend

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www.kxan.com – Julianna Russ – 2024-02-29 20:46:36

SUMMARY: Airbnb has noticed a surge in interest for properties along the path of the upcoming solar eclipse in April. Austin and the Hill Country in Texas are trending destinations for travelers wanting to experience the eclipse. Texas is among the most-booked states, with a 600% increase in searches for the weekend of the eclipse. Over 60% of listings along the eclipse path in Texas are already booked. Airbnb reported a 1000% increase in searches for stays along the eclipse path in the US, with other popular cities including Mazatlán, Indianapolis, Montreal, and more. The eclipse will be the last to cross North America for over 20 years.

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