Reduce Property Tax Burden


Our property tax rates have remained high despite the fact that residential property appraisals have skyrocketed. I believe out-of-control property taxes in Texas are a direct consequence of the Legislature's failure to fix and update our public school finance system. Historically, the state legislature provided a majority of the funding for public schools, while relying on local property taxes to supplement that funding. But over time, due to funding formulas utilized by our public school finance system, as property appraisals have increased, the allocation of funding at the state level has decreased. And consequently, we have become overly reliant on local property tax revenue to pay for public schools.  In addition, while the population and associated need for educational services has grown, the Legislature's refusal to adequately fund at the state level, has forced school districts to maintain high tax rates to generate the amount of funding they need. In the meantime, legislators who want to be re-elected are able to blame local taxing entities for the high rate, when in reality the legislators who refuse to fix or update formula funding for public schools, are responsible. I would fight to end this by advocating to increase the per-student-basic-allotment, enabling "property wealthy" school districts to keep more of their local tax dollars they are already generating to pay for education. By doing so, the amount of the local tax dollars subject to "recapture" would be reduced, and the state would be forced to pay its fair share of education funding.  When the state pays its fair share of education funding, local taxing entities will be free once again to lower rates.