Childcare facilities could receive property tax exemption under a proposed Texas amendment

The Texas Legislature voted to send a constitutional amendment to the Nov. 2023 ballot that would allow counties or municipalities to authorize an exemption from property taxes on all or part of the appraised value of real property used to operate childcare facilities. A partial property tax exemption would need to equal at least 50% of the appraised value.

This amendment was introduced as Senate Joint Resolution 64 on March 9, 2023. On May 3, 2023, the state Senate passed SJR 64 by a vote of 25-6. On May 19, the state House passed SJR 64 by a vote of 114-31 with four not voting. Democratic Rep. Terry Canales joined 36 Republican legislators in voting against the amendment.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission reported that Texas had lost nearly a quarter of its child-care providers between March 2020 and September 2021.

State Sen. Royce West (D-23) authored the amendment. The Texas Restaurant Association and Methodist Healthcare Ministries registered in support of the amendment during legislative hearings. No organizations registered in opposition to the measure.

The Missouri Legislature also voted to send a similar amendment to voters there, allowing childcare establishments to be exempt from property taxes. Missouri voters will decide on that amendment in Nov. 2024.

Taxes are the most common topic of constitutional amendments in Texas. Between 1995 and 2022, voters decided on 41 tax-related measures out of 179 proposed.

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