Wednesday, December 12, 2018

#TXLEGE: Abbott correctly prioritizes Property TAX RELIEF

"But the former governors who were before me laid burdens on the people, and took from them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver. Yes, even their servants bore rule over the people, but I did not do so, because of the fear of God."
Nehemiah 5:15

An early estimate shows Gov. Greg Abbott's proposal for a school finance fix would provide three times more dollars for property tax relief as it would additional money for school districts in 2020.

That gap would widen to five times more by 2021, costing the state an additional $3 billion over that time period, according to a Texas Education Agency estimate released Tuesday during a meeting of the state's school finance commission.

In raw numbers, estimates show Abbott's proposal would give taxpayers a break of $992 million in 2020, which would increase to $3.7 billion by 2023. It would provide $301 million additional funds for school districts in 2020, a figure that would drop to $74 million by 2023.

"For every three dollars spent on buying down tax relief, school districts get about a dollar of that," Nicole Conley-Johnson, chief financial officer at the Austin Independent School District, said of the governor's pitch.

[Note: Emphasis added.]
The article goes on to quote a number of educrats crying wolf about alleged shortcomings in education funding.  This despite the FACT that Texas spends over $60 BILLION annually on socialized "public" education.  The money's already there.

That being said, nothing in the preceding paragraph should preclude us from funding that system more efficiently.  Nor does it change the fact that shifting education funding from the local to the state level is the easiest, practical, way to move from property taxes to consumption taxes.  But if you can't run the system on $60 BILLION+, how much money will ever be enough?!?

TPPF says it well:
AUSTIN—Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation responded to the release of a new draft report from the Texas Commission on Public School Finance. The draft report repurposes existing school finance dollars to provide incentive for school districts to improve student outcomes.

Repurposing existing tax dollars to incent school districts to improve student outcomes is a great idea,” said Kara Belew, senior education policy advisor. “Without any new taxes, Texas school districts can repurpose funds and improve student outcomes by adopting teacher merit pay programs, which encourage our best teachers to stay in the classroom.”
[Note: "Repurpose" is bureaucrat-speak for 'spend more wisely.']

Again, $60 BILLION + ought to be sufficient.

Bottom Line: There are any number of ways Texas can more responsibly fund education.  But to get there, the educrats need to under stand that meaningful NET relief for taxpayers is non-negotiable.  Kudos to Governor Abbott for making that clear.


Note: If you want to understand what's wrong with school finance in Texas, consider the following result that popped up unprompted on Google....

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