Concerned About Property Taxes?

Increase state support to public schools.

The Texas Legislature is again threatening to interfere with local communities by limiting the ability of local governments to raise the revenue they need to deliver public safety, health care, parks, libraries and other services their communities want. Senate Bill 1 during the 2017 special session is part of a broader scheme of some state lawmakers to interfere in local decisions that would hamstring the ability of Texas’ cities to address the changing needs of their residents.

If Texas lawmakers are really concerned about property taxes, then they should increase state investment in public education.

Lower property taxes by boosting state funding for our public schools.

A much better way for the state to reduce property taxes is through increased state aid to public education. This way, school districts are not forced to raise taxes to cover inflation, maintain or reduce class sizes, or attract and retain the best teachers.

Recent bills proposed to lower property taxes have sought to restrict local governments from raising revenue needed for other services like public safety, courts, and health care. Rather than doing something that restricts these services in local communities, lawmakers can provide more support to our state’s public schools.

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Dick Lavine focuses on state and local revenue issues. Before coming to the Center in 1994, he was a Senior Researcher at the House Research Organization of the Texas House of Representatives for ten years. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Travis Central Appraisal District, and a member of the Executive Board of AFSCME Texas Retirees, the statewide union local of retired public employees. The Equity Center named him the 2011 Champion for Equity for his work to reform our tax system to ensure it can adequately support public education and other public services. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, magna cum laude, from Harvard College in 1969, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania in 1975.

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