Saturday, December 8, 2018

#TXLEGE: ELIMINATE Corporate Welfare; Streamline School Finance


"Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,
But a just weight is His delight."
Proverbs 11:1

We've previously discussed the Chapter 313 program; now, TPPF has some appalling new findings:
AUSTIN— Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation published the paper “Breaking the Bank: Robin Hood and Chapter 313.”

The paper’s author Stanley Greer, a senior fellow with the Texas Public Policy Foundation and a senior research associate for the National Institute for Labor Relations Research, released the following statement:

“Under Chapter 313, important decisions about state funding for schools are taken out of the hands of lawmakers who are accountable to state taxpayers. In fact, Chapter 313 has played a major role in transforming the funding of Texas’ K-12 public schools into an extremely complicated and counterproductive game of ‘beggar thy neighbor.’”

Despite public school officials in districts benefiting from Chapter 313 being highly in favor of the financial gains they’ve negotiated, little or no long-term educational benefit result from increased funding unaccompanied by meaningful changes in how students are instructed or how teachers are recruited and rewarded for their work.

“When the Texas Legislature convenes in January, legislators may decide whether or not the Texas Economic Development Act (Chapter 313) gets renewed,” said Cutter Gonz├ález, a policy analyst with the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “This paper exposes concerns about property tax abatements that show why lawmakers should keep decisions on state spending in their hands by letting Chapter 313 expire.”

Key Points:
  • Chapter 313 tax abatements incentivize school districts to provide tax abatements to every business that applies because they can pass the cost on to taxpayers across the state. 
  • Chapter 313 and Chapter 41, otherwise known as Robin Hood, jointly create a situation whereby relatively prosperous districts can raise revenues to fund their own operations more efficiently by granting tax abatements to businesses rather than by collecting taxes.
This isn't surprising.  Tax carve-outs are, essentially, central planning.  Central planning always fails.

That being said, this provides more ammunition for the potential coalition to eliminate tax exemptions as part of fixing school finance.

Bottom Line: Few things will broaden the tax base more quickly than abolishing Chapter 313....

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Read the whole paper:

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