Lower Revenue Cap = Fewer Local Services

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

We’re continuing our week-long march through tax policy proposals, and today we look at a proposal to lower the cap on local government property tax revenue. SB 182, authored by Senator Paul Bettencourt, and HB 365, by Representative Gary Elkins, aren’t part of the $4.6 billion package of tax cuts senate leaders introduced this week, […]

Proposal Addresses Frustrations with Property Taxes

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

On Tuesday, Senators Jane Nelson and Charles Schwertner drew much attention when they announced several major tax cut proposals, including a homestead exemption increase. As part of our week-long series on tax policies, today we’re looking at proposals to address frustrations with residential property taxes, such as the homestead exemption increase. While many of the […]

Don’t Prioritize Roads Over Other Needs

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

UPDATE: Senator Robert Nichols (R – Jacksonville) announced a change to the proposal. The new proposal, which requires a constitutional amendment, would dedicate 50 percent of the revenue from the motor vehicle sales tax to highways in the following way: the first $2.5 billion would go to General Revenue, the next $2.5 billion would go to […]

Impacts of Reducing the Franchise Tax

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

UPDATE: Senator Charles Schwertner (R – Georgetown) filed SB 7 , which calls for a reduction in the franchise tax rate, and SB 8, which increases the amount of revenue exempted from the franchise tax. To ensure that all Texans have the chance to compete and succeed in life, we need world-class public schools, roads, hospitals, […]

Analysis in Brief: DARS Budget Proposals

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

On January 27, Senate Finance Chair Jane Nelson (R – Flower Mound) introduced SB 2, the Senate’s starting-point 2016-17 Texas budget. Two weeks earlier, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Joe Straus (R – San Antonio) introduced HB 1, the House’s recommendations for funding state services in 2016-17. Public hearings are now underway on […]

Analysis in Brief: DFPS Budget Proposals

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

This week, I testified in front of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article II on their respective starting-point budget proposals for DFPS. This testimony comes a month after the Speaker of the House of Representatives Joe Straus (R – San Antonio) introduced HB 1, the House’s recommendations for funding state […]

You Had Me at “Early Education”

Governor Abbott’s first State of the State address started out strong, but then he lost me. I was pleased to hear the Governor declare early education his first “emergency item,” saying “our children and their future have no time for delay.” Pre-Kindergarten is the smartest and most cost-effective investment in education – yet only 52 […]

Food and Nutrition in Texas: What You Need to Know

What did you have for breakfast today? While you try to remember, chew on these disturbing facts. 1.7 million Texas households struggled to put food on the table in 2013, one of the highest rates of household food insecurity in the country. That’s 4.7 million Texans. In a state as great as Texas, no one […]

Texas Has the 3rd Most Unfair Tax System in the U.S.

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

In Texas, we like to pride ourselves as being the standard-bearer of many things across the country. Unfortunately, our tax system leaves a lot to be desired. The latest update of Who Pays? by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy reveals that Texas has the third most unfair (or regressive) tax system in the […]

Where Does the Gasoline Tax Go?

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

Texas is looking for more money for roads, and the question of how the state spends its motor fuels tax funds is likely to gain traction in the legislative session. In 2014 motor fuels tax revenue was $3.3 billion, or 6.5 percent of all state tax collections. This substantial pot of money results from the […]