Author Topic: Analysis: A tight-fisted Texas Legislature with expensive ambitions  (Read 269 times)

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Texas Tribune by Ross Ramsey Dec. 3, 2018

State lawmakers are loath to raise taxes, but they need to find money somewhere if they want to give local school property taxpayers a break — a primary goal for many of the state's top leaders.

The Texas Legislature’s strong allergy to tax increases might be abating — just as long as you don’t call them tax increases.

They’re not saying so out loud — no point in riling up a price-sensitive electorate before the holidays, before the upcoming legislative session — or before lawmakers are ready to make their sales pitch.

But the talk of school finance as a top legislative priority guarantees a conversation about taxes. While there are many great policy reasons to mess with that persistent and gnarly issue, the political motivation here is simple: Texas property owners have made it clear to their representatives that they want lower property taxes.

When you do hear lawmakers talking about tax increases next year — whatever euphemisms they choose — they’ll be talking in terms of how that money will pay for property tax cuts. Cutting everyone’s current most-hated tax is the only way to explain so many conservative legislators making serious noises about increasing state revenue.

Given the way the state pays for public education — with a combination of local property taxes, and state and federal funding — the only ways to lower property taxes are to cut public education spending or to find money elsewhere to offset property tax cuts.

More: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/12/03/tight-fisted-texas-legislature-school-finance-property-tax/
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