Gov. Greg Abbott Issues 76 Vetoes in Texas Property Tax Dispute
Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) has taken a bold stance in his battle with the Texas Senate over property tax reform, issuing a total of 76 vetoes. This includes a whopping 30 vetoes issued on Sunday alone. While many of the bills were actually in line with the governor’s views, he vetoed them as a way to express his disapproval of the state Senate’s actions. According to the Texas Tribune, this veto count is the second highest in the state’s history.
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In an effort to address the property tax issue, Gov. Abbott specifically requested that the state legislature focus solely on compression, a method of sending funds to school districts to lower property tax rates. The Texas House complied with this request, but the Senate had a different idea. They asked for an increase in the homestead exception, which would exempt a portion of a home’s appraised value from property taxes. This disagreement led to the governor’s series of vetoes.
In his written proclamations, Gov. Abbott made it abundantly clear that his vetoes were a direct result of the property tax dispute. “At this time, the legislature must concentrate on delivering property tax cuts to Texans,” he emphasized.
Unsurprisingly, many state senators were outraged by the governor’s actions, labeling them as nothing more than a political stunt. State Sen. Sarah Eckhardt (D) expressed her frustration on Twitter, stating, “These random acts of political retribution have real consequences for real Texans who could have benefited from the opportunity to complete their academic journey and be a part of the #TexasMiracle. Governing is not a game. It is a responsibility to serve every Texan. I am mystified over who is served by these vetoes. I pledge to keep serving as best I can in these circumstances.”
This move by Gov. Abbott is likely to further escalate tensions with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who has already clashed publicly with the governor over these vetoes. Patrick criticized the targeted vetoing of bills unrelated to the property tax issue, stating, “It’s not a very good image to veto bills for no reason other than he didn’t get the property tax bill he wants.”
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