The Least-Worst Way to Under-Invest

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

Tax cuts are the wrong priority – Texans would be better served if lawmakers increased investments in public services. However, as I told members of the House Ways & Means Committee late Tuesday night, if lawmakers feel they have to cut taxes, then increasing the school homestead exemption (SB 1/SJR 1 by Sen. Jane Nelson) is […]

Flat-Dollar Homestead Exemption Benefits Homeowners and Municipalities

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

In Texas, school districts grant residential homeowners a flat-dollar-amount homestead exemption of $15,000, but local governments are currently prohibited from doing the same. While they can offer percentage exemptions, the ability to offer flat-dollar-amount homestead exemptions would benefit both homeowners and local taxing entities. At present, more than 800 Texas cities, and more than half […]

Headline From the Future: Who Passed All These Short-Sighted Tax Cuts?

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

Public attention is currently focused on the large tax-cut bills that both the House and the Senate passed, in different forms. The House plan, which would reduce the rates of the sales and franchise tax, would cut the amount of General Revenue (GR) available to fund the 2016-17 budget by $4.9 billion. The Senate plan, […]

FAQ: Texas Taxes and Tax Cut Proposals

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

The House and Senate have different tax cut proposals, generating many questions about what these tax cuts could mean for the future of Texas. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions. What are the tax cut proposals? The Senate proposes a $4.5 billion tax-cut package, made up of: SB 1, which would cut property […]

2016-17 Legislative Budget Snapshot

CPPP logo

With just weeks remaining in the regular session of the 84th Legislature, House and Senate conferees are working out the two chambers’ different versions of House Bill 1, the 2016-17 General Appropriations Act. Wherever different levels of funding are proposed, the conferees may choose to go with the lower amount, the higher amount, or compromise […]

DFPS House and Senate Budget Proposals Similar, but Priorities Differ

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

Now that the full Senate has voted out its “marked up” version of the 2016-17 budget, we are one step closer to the end of the 2015 legislative budget process. Conferees on House Bill 1 will resolve differences between the Senate and House proposals before the regular session ends. For child protective services, foster care, […]

Funding for DARS Misses the Mark

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

Signaling that we are getting closer to the end of the 2015 legislative budget process, both the full Senate and the House have voted out their respective proposals for the 2016-17 biennium. This analysis looks at how the Senate and House plans differ in support for Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) services, autism, rehabilitation, disability determination, […]

House Swings and Misses on School Finance

Chandra Villanueva

Earlier this week the House Committee on Public Education heard HB 1759, a proposal by Chairman Jimmie Don Aycock that would make sweeping changes to the school finance system. This bill was introduced as an effort to increase equity in the public school system and to address the concerns raised in the pending school finance lawsuit. […]

Undocumented Immigrants Paid $1.5 Billion+ in Texas Taxes

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

A just-released Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy report estimates that undocumented immigrants in Texas collectively paid $1.5 billion in property, sales, and excise taxes in 2012. (For other states that have a personal income tax, ITEP estimates that amount as well.) Today’s ITEP report points out that, “[l]ike other people living and working in […]

Texas Can’t Afford Permanent Tax Cuts

The House Ways & Means Committee heard testimony on HB 31 and HB 32, the bills that together make up the House tax cut plan. CPPP’s wonks provided live analysis on Twitter. .@dlavine on tax cuts – Economic growth requires solid foundation of healthy and educated workforce and sound infrastructure. #txlege — Texas Forward (@TXForward) […]