Analysis: Coronavirus could threaten local property tax limits

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A freeway in Houston is almost empty during the coronavirus pandemic. Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

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You haven’t heard everything yet: The coronavirus could ignite a fight over local government taxes in Texas.

A law passed less than a year ago requires cities and counties to get approval from voters any time they’re increasing property tax revenue by more than 3.5%. The old restriction was 8% — an increase that lawmakers decided was too generous, especially at a time when voters were boiling mad about rising property taxes.

They did leave open some exceptions, though. Local governments don’t have to seek voter approval for increases of more than 3.5% that are attributable to disasters.

It’s not limited to hurricanes and tornadoes, either.