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Texas Zero Property Tax Bill Has Extreme, Discriminatory Catches

Many people figures rainbow colored on LGBT pride flag under magnifying glass isolated on white.

It seems like everyone is flocking to Florida or Texas these days, citing how taxes and goods are cheaper. Texas, in particular, has a lot of space and good food—although I think that about most states that used to be Mexico. Even tech giants are moving to Texas to reap the benefits of the non-existent corporate taxes.

Soon, Texas could be a particular heaven for a weirdly specific demographic: straight married couples who personally created a soccer team. Why? HB No. 2889. Representative Bryan Slaton (a Republican) has proposed a bill that would have couples with 10 kids paying no property taxes. However, it’s not just for people with quite so many children. If you have four kids, you get a 40% cut, and the percentage goes up by 10% for every kid after.

The catch is you have to be a “qualifying married couple,” which means you can never have been divorced—and that you must be an opposite-sex couple. Yikes. On top of that, the child must “qualify,” which means they have to be the married couple’s biological kin or adopted after marriage. Another yikes.

There’s something particularly icky about this bill. Is it the blatantly obvious anti-queer sentiments? The fact that Texan public schools are entirely funded by property taxes, so this bill would further damage the education system that those kids would be using? Is it the fact that this seems like an incentive to turn women into living, breathing baby-making machines? Definitely all of the above.


“Get married, stay married, and be fruitful and multiply” is the tag line for Texas HB2889. Stay married – 10% tax reduction Have 4 kids – 40% tax reduction Have 10 kids – 100% reduction This is handmaids tale, where women are pushed to be broodmares. They want more white kids. 1, 2, or 3 kids and you don’t get any additional tax relief. You’ve got to get to 4 to make the money roll in. We need more white kids! ?of ?‍?? = ✅ (?must be born after married, because of sin) Adopted ?of ?‍?? = ✅ Adopted ?of one parent, who is married to someone who is a widow or widower = ✅ So if you were married and had kids, got divorced, and then remarried, you are SOL. Because divorce is a sin. Of course it excludes gay couples. It’s only for a man and a woman. And it’s only for homeowners. I’m thinking, ya know the history they don’t want taught, the people most likely to be homeowners are ? White This is a bill for straight white Christians #christiannationalism #txlege #texaspolitics

♬ original sound – Chris Tackett

After all, Slaton did say the purpose of this bill is to “get married, stay married, and be fruitful and multiply.”

The Biblical language in the representative’s statement triggers my Catholic upbringing PTSD. As with most “pro-life” legislation, this feels like a desperate attempt for Christian nationalist white supremacists to hold onto power. There’s the whole, incredibly racist “great replacement theory,” openly supported by Republicans like Rep. Steve King and conservative pundits like Tucker Carlson, which basically consists of a quest to make America’s populace as white as possible.

This new bill ties directly to Rep. King’s own rhetoric, considering he said, “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” This legislation is blatantly part of that same ideology, encouraging only certain preferred people to have more children. Race, of course, can’t be included in such legislation because it would be struck down, but the goals here are in alignment, and that’s not an accident.

These bills feel like an attempt to make white, middle-class women into breeders in order to maintain a racial majority in the U.S., in addition to their anti-queer intent. That’s horrifying on its own, but to leave you with one more troubling thought, remember that, while people are being encouraged to have more children, the U.S. maternal mortality rate is the highest out of all industrialized nations and nothing is being done about it.

(featured image: Valerii Evlakhov/Getty Images)

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Nava was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently, they edit economic textbooks by day and write geeky articles for the internet in the evenings. They currently exist on unceded Lenape land aka Brooklyn. (Filipine/a Mexican American)