How Texas Education Chief Gave $100 Million to Rich Homeowners

Dick Lavine

Recently the Texas Education Commissioner changed the interpretation of a long-standing statue in order to give $100 million to wealthy homeowners in wealthy school districts. KEY TAKEAWAYS: *It’s understandable that school districts have concerns about the underfunding of the Texas public school finance system and want state leaders to make changes. *But a sudden, under-the-radar […]

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 […]

Know Before You Vote: Props 1 and 7

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Early voting begins October 19 for the upcoming statewide elections, where Texans will vote on seven proposed constitutional amendments. CPPP encourages all Texans to learn about the implications of these proposed amendments for the future prosperity of our state. CPPP has a new breakdown of the impacts of Proposition 1, which would increase the homestead exemption […]

Misguided Priorities

With four days left in the Texas legislative session, I recall my fervent hope back in January – that lawmakers would put aside their differences and focus on what all Texans believe in. We all want Texas to be the best state for hard-working people and their families. We all want a future for our […]

10 Days Left

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With 10 days left in the 84th Legislative session, there are still a handful of major decisions pending. Here is a preview of upcoming action we’re watching and some of our work from the past week. What we’re watching: The full Senate should consider HB 1624, a good bill that would help people shopping for […]

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 […]