A pair of companion measures from GOP lawmakers would provide seniors with an exemption from taxes aimed to benefit local school districts.
“Any real estate that is used as a homestead by a person age 65 or older who has legal or equitable title to the property and who has maintained permanent residence thereon for at least 25 years is exempt from school district levies,” reads the measure from Diaz, who chairs the Senate Education Committee.
Diaz has been criticized by Democrats for pushing for more school choice options, with the worry public schools would be left behind.
That criticism will likely occur here with a measure designed to cut down on school districts’ tax revenue. But Diaz believes the bill can be crafted in a way where school districts aren’t hit too hard.
“This could be crafted in a manner where it provides relief without hurting the operations of schools,” Diaz told POLITICO Pro (subscription required). “It’s a high wire act.”
POLITICO’s Andrew Atterbury cited AARP numbers showing about 3.3 million homeowners in the state aged 65 or older. But it’s unclear how many of those seniors have owned their home for at least 25 years, and thus would qualify for the exemption.
The Rodriguez measure has been referred to three committees in the House: the Education Committee, Appropriations Committee and the Ways and Means Committee, where it currently sits. Diaz’s bill was sent to the Community Affairs Committee, the Finance and Tax Committee and the Appropriations Committee.