HOUSTON (KIAH) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott came to Houston to meet with small business owners and discuss the current state of texas’s economy and his new business coalition. During the conference, he addresses a few other issues.

Gov. Greg Abbott says small businesses are the heartbeat of Texas. “Our state has the fastest-growing economy in the country,” he said.

Abbott believes his new small business coalition will help to keep the state’s economy afloat.

Abbott’s new initiative will allow business leaders to work closely with him to ensure small businesses continue to thrive. At the roundtable event, new policies and property taxes were addressed.

Currently, small business owners are facing challenges due to inflation, supply chain, and labor issues.

The governor says more than 90% of all businesses in Texas are small businesses and he wants his focus to be on cutting property taxes. Abbott reassures that property taxes will go down in the near future.

“The reasons why property taxes are going up so much is because of inadequate inventory. That means more demand than there is supply for it. I do believe supply will be catching up with demand,” said Abbott.

Small businesses are a big talking point for abbot as he seeks re-election

“Through the leadership of our current government; especially, Governor Abbott has enabled us to break out much quicker than other states in this country. And for those small business operators, a little bit of grit, a little bit of hard work, you’ll be fine,” said Greg Den Herder, CEO of Amber Green Corporation.

Abbott says Texas is ranked number one for small business growth.

Education funding for undocumented children

During the round table, the topic of education funding for immigrant children came up. Abbott wants the federal government to pay for the public education of undocumented states.

According to Abbott, Texas could challenge a Supreme Court decision (Plyler v. Doe) in 1982 requiring states to provide free public education to all children.

Abbott says about 18,000 people are coming across the border and entering the state each day. 

He says states have no authority to stop illegal immigration according to an Supreme Court decision in the case of Arizona v. United States, back in 2012.

However, the governor says the states have to pay for the education of those undocumented immigrants. Right now, it costs $7,500 per student for public education in Texas which could impact property taxes. Texas is spending billions more a year.

“One or both of those two decisions are going to have to go. Either the Arizona decision will have to go giving states full authority to enforce U.S immigration laws. Or Plyler will have to go saying that the federal government is going to be responsible for paying the states for the cost of education that we’re incurring because of the mass immigration we’re seeing today compared to the way it was four years ago,” said Abbott.

Public schools in Texas are funded largely by local property taxes. In order to receive full funding, districts must levy them at certain levels.

Texans have the opportunity to vote on this topic in a May 7 constitutional amendment election to expand homestead exemptions that could lower the number of property values upon which property taxes can be levied.