AUSTIN – A clearly agitated Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick took to twitter again Wednesday afternoon to condemn the Texas House, Speaker Phelan and Gov. Abbott over Tuesday's gaveling closed the House Special Session and sending the Senate a take-it-or-leave-it Property Tax Reduction measure.
Here's Patrick's Tweet:
"If the House thinks after abandoning the Capitol, and walking out on the Special Session, the Senate is going to pass their “take it or leave it” property tax bill without a homestead exemption, they are mistaken. The Senate is still working. The House can return. Our bill legally fits the call. Our bill is simple – dedicating about 70% of the $17.6 billion to compression for all properties, with the remaining 30% going to a $100K homestead exemption. The House already unanimously passed the homestead exemption in the regular session; now the House All-Compression Plan takes the homestead exemption away. No State Representative ever campaigned on taking money from homeowners to give to businesses. The Senate plan gives $1,250 – $1,450 to homeowners. The House’s All-Compression Plan only gives about $740 in tax saving to homeowners."
At about the same time, Gov. Abbott stood by his decision and the House Tax Reduction Plan on Twitter.
Here's the Governor's take:
"Over 30 homeowner, consumer, and business groups back my plan to cut property taxes. It’s the only current proposal that provides more cuts to property tax rates for all Texans. It will be the largest property tax cut in Texas history."
Let's catch up: Gov. Abbott called a special session on cutting property taxes and asked lawmakers to focus exclusively on one method of relief. The House quickly obliged, but the Senate defied Abbott by passing a broader bill. And when Abbott issued a statement clearly siding with the House, Patrick erupted.
Texas hasn't seen the rare infighting in the Texas GOP's top ranks publicly in years. The split goes well beyond the legislative session and property tax relief; when the House impeached Attorney General Ken Paxton who was supported by former President Trump, top 'Establishment' Texas Republicans saw Trump's political power weaken. Trump allies Patrick and Paxton still seem to hold that Trump is as strong an asset as ever and will presumably be the Republican Presidential nominee in 2024.
This public feud wouldn't be possible without Trump's influence or lack there of.
Stay tuned Thursday!