Sales Tax Holidays Aren’t Good for Texas

Brakeyshia Samms

Last week I presented invited testimony to the Senate Finance Committee about sales tax holidays. Sales tax holidays sound good to consumers, especially in the late summer right before school starts. With a list of school-year needs a mile long, from school supplies to new clothes, hard-working Texas families look for every opportunity to save […]

Have Property Taxes Gone Up, Really?

Dick Lavine, Senior Fiscal Analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities

Property taxes are the major source of support for local public services – schools, emergency services, roads, parks and libraries. They are also among the most unpopular of all state and local taxes. Many taxpayers complain that their property tax bill can go up, even if their ability to pay that bill does not. So […]

What is the Texas Coverage Gap?

Find this blog post at bit.ly/CPPPcoveragegap or download a fact sheet here. Between 750,000 and 1 million uninsured adult Texans are in the Coverage Gap, meaning they have no affordable health insurance options today, but they would be covered if our state accepted new federal health care funds that are available for their coverage. The Coverage […]

Texas Undocumented Immigrants Pay At Least $1.5 Billion in Taxes

Undocumented immigrants in Texas pay at least $1.5 billion in property, sales, and excise taxes annually, according to the new Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) report. According to the report, “these tax contributions would increase significantly if all undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States were granted a pathway to citizenship as part […]

The Pope and the Sisters

In honor of Pope Francis’ visit to Mexico this week – including a historic mass along the Texas border – I wanted to share this thoughtful commentary from CPPP’s founders. Over 30 years ago, the Benedictine Sisters of Boerne, Texas, founded what became CPPP to advance public policies that would help low-income people get affordable […]

Innovative Mental Health Peer Support Program Comes to Texas Jails

CPPP logo

Last week, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced it will support three peer support re-entry pilot program sites, funded through a $1 million budget rider passed by the Legislature in 2015. Mental health peer support is a cost-effective, evidence-based practice in which an individual with a lived experience of mental illness provides guidance […]

Proposed Rules for High Quality Pre-K Released

Chandra Villanueva

After hearing testimony from stakeholders on December 1, 2015, the Texas Education Agency has released the Commissioner’s proposed rules on what should be included in the criteria to qualify for the High Quality Pre-K Grant Program (HB 4). Under the proposed rules, a high quality program is defined in terms of curriculum, teacher training, and […]

The Case for a Flat-Dollar Exemption

Dick Lavine

In the 2015 session, legislators considered a promising proposed constitutional amendment to give cities, counties, and other local taxing units the option of lowering property taxes through a flat-dollar homestead exemption. The measure passed the Senate and the House Ways & Means Committee with significant support, but failed to come up for a full House […]

Meanwhile…back at the Capitol

The word “interim” comes from the Latin word for “meanwhile.” Many of us are looking ahead to the winter holidays, but meanwhile the gears are turning as lawmakers prepare for the 2017 legislative session. The interim charges that Senate and House committees will discuss in the coming months offer a preview of the policy debates […]

Pre-K Benefits are in the Details

Chandra Villanueva

If a mechanic told you she could make your car perform better, you would probably want more details before she started rearranging wires under your hood. Well, after the Texas Legislature passed the High-Quality Prekindergarten Grant Program (HB 4) this spring, many of us applauded the law as a good first step. Now it’s details […]