Mont Belvieu City Council unanimously approved a resolution in support of legislation authored by Senator Brandon Creighton that would give local taxing entities the power to increase homestead exemptions.
Council is backing Senate Bill 2568 and Senate Joint Resolution 80, which would allow municipalities to increase the maximum allowable homestead exemption from 20% to 100%.
“This allows local control and allows us to make a decision on homestead exemptions and how it could work for us,” Assistant City Manager Scott Swigert said. “As we all know, depending on where you’re at, each city is different, and each scenario is different. So this will allow us to go up to that 100%. I don’t know if anybody would, but it allows you to make that determination.”
City council previously voiced support for Representative Mayes Middleton’s House Bill 3127, which looks to accomplish the same, increasing the maximum allowable local homestead exemption from 20% to 100%.
“I am adamant that the legislature deliver meaningful property tax relief this session. If not at the state level, we should allow local taxing entities the option of raising their local homestead exemptions,” Middleton said. “Texans are literally being taxed out of their homes. I am hopeful that this legislation can allow for greater relief to
If the bills are approved, the law will go into effect in January 2020. And if the percentage set by a taxing unit produces an exemption in a tax year less than $5,000 when applied to a particular residence homestead, the individual is entitled to an exemption of $5,000 of the appraised value.
“Not only is the state working hard to get this but we as local officials are also working hard to make this happen to offer real tax relief,” Swigert said. “As we’ve discussed many times, offering homestead exemptions is tax relief.”
“We’ve already increased our homestead exemptions for seniors, and this would allow us to increase the homestead exemptions for everybody as well,” he added.
Last month, Mont Belvieu City Council approved an increase to its tax exemptions for elderly and disabled for the first time in 30 years.
Mont Belvieu raised the over 65 tax exemption from $150,00 to $160,00 and raised its disabled tax exemption from $25,000 to $75,000.
Mont Belvieu City Council amended an ordinance to allow special exceptions permits for industrial and commercial businesses that plan to develop west of the canal that runs between Eagle Drive and Highway 146.
Council will allow special exemptions to industrial use developments that allow for lenient regulations regarding standards of architecture, detention pond criteria and parking lot criteria.
“If it’s out of plain sight from Highway 146 with 207 and 565 we’ll let you have a deviation from those three for industrial uses,” City Planner Ken Barnadyn said.
Special exceptions for commercial use were also approved and included setbacks and material standards.
City council also approved limitations on the types of developments allowed on the west side of Mont Belvieu, designating the area as mostly industrial with a narrow scope on the kinds of commercial development allowed in the area.
“We would be eliminating residential uses within the district that way we can focus on the commercial and industrial aspect of that area,” Barnadyn said. “There’s only a handful of residential places out there now, and they would be allowed to continue but we wouldn’t allow any more homes to be built out there and we wouldn’t allow any more trailers to be brought out there.”
“We’re really trying to keep all the industrial stuff west of the canal, and that’s what we’re doing with this ordinance,” he added.
The ordinance will also prohibit parks and recreation developments, libraries, schools, hospitals, RV parks and multifamily dwellings.