AUSTIN (KMID/KPEJ)- State Representative Brooks Landgraf filed House Bill 159 and House Bill 187 to empower taxpayers and increase government transparency.

“As your state representative, I feel deeply convicted to pursue policies that allow for the bright light of transparency to shine through on our state and local governments at every available opportunity,” Landgraf said.

HB 159 reinstates the requirement on local taxing entities that any proposed changes to property tax rates be published in local newspapers. HB 187 requires ballot measures for the approval to issue bonds or other public debt to be submitted to voters and taxpayers only during a November election, removing the option to vote on debt during lower turnout elections.

“Over the last decade there has been a correlation between increasing local government debt and rising property taxes,” Landgraf continued. “HB 159 and HB 187 aim to provide more transparency for this entire process. HB 159 will help ensure rural Texans have access to information regarding proposed changes in their property tax rates regardless of their access to the internet, and passage of HB 187 will guarantee that debt proposals are only offered when voter turnout is highest. These might be small steps, but they are steps in the right direction in the best interest of every Texas taxpayer.”

Landgraf and the other members of the Texas legislature will convene for the 88th Texas Legislative Session on January 10, 2023. Members of the Texas House and Texas Senate may file bills for the 2023 legislative session as early as November 14, 2022. The Texas legislature meets at the Texas Capitol building for a 140-day regular session beginning the second Tuesday in January every odd-numbered year to vote on proposed legislation and pass a balanced state budget.