Texas GOP Bill Would Reward Married Couples Who Have 10 or More Children

A Republican state representative in Texas has filed a bill that would give a 100 percent credit for property taxes to married couples with 10 or more children.

The bill, introduced by Bryan Slaton on February 27, would provide graduated tax relief for married families with four or more children, incentivising couples to increase the size of their family.

The GOP representative and former pastor said in a statement: "With this bill, Texas will start saying to couples: 'Get married, stay married, and be fruitful and multiply.'"

According to Houston Press, a local news outlet, the bill is seen as one element of a wider pro-family movement by GOP lawmakers following the overturning of Roe v Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court last year.

Large family
A file photo of a large, rural family praying to God for a good harvest. A new bill in Texas would give a 100 percent property tax credit for families with 10 or more children. Getty

Under the bill, married couples who have or adopt up to three children will be entitled to a 10 percent tax credit. Those with four would receive a 40 percent tax break, those with five a 50 percent reimbursement, and so on.

The bill also says married couples would still receive their level of credit in cases where children have moved away from home, or if a child has died.

The draft legislation would reimburse families for ad valorem taxes imposed on property—those which are determined by the assessed value of an asset. Larger families may require more living space, but may not have the necessary income to afford a larger property.

"Strong families are the backbone and building blocks of society," Slaton stated on Tuesday. "We must support families by making it financially easier for them to have and raise children in a supportive and nurturing way."

Texas does not have a state-wide property tax, but local authorities are able to collect such levies from their local population.

There are three counties in Slaton's district to the west of Dallas: Hopkins County, which collects on average 1.38 percent of a property's value; Hunt County, which collects around 1.57 percent; and Van Zandt County, which collects about 1.22 percent—according to Tax-Rates.org, a taxation resource.

It states that families in Slaton's district would likely pay between $1,170-$1,420 a year in property tax, depending on which county they are in—though property taxes are higher in other counties.

The Texas Real Estate Research Center gave a median house price in the state of $320,000 in January 2023, meaning the average household in Texas could pay somewhere in the region of $5,760 in property tax.

If passed, the draft legislation would come at a time when Texas is likely to see a rise in the number of unwanted pregnancies, as one of 13 states to institute a full ban on abortion.

However, while promoting family values, legislators have been criticized for not addressing the state's high maternal mortality rate of 34.5 mothers per 100,000, and having some of the most restrictive Medicaid coverage for new mothers.

The bill has also been linked to Slaton's religious views as a self-described Christian conservative. Following the announcement of his property tax bill, he quoted Genesis—"Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it"—and prior to it, he introduced legislation that would close abortion "loopholes" such as a woman "performing an abortion on herself."

Newsweek has reached out to Slaton's spokesperson for comment.