Category Archives: Texas Issues

Texas House to Ratify Robin Hood

TSWebsiteMasthead.png  By |April 1, 2019

The Texas House is preparing to vote on legislation on Wednesday that will increase your property taxes.Yes, you read that correctly— increase your property taxes.

Despite making grandiose promises to provide real tax relief and meaningful reform, lawmakers plan to vote on a proposal Wednesday that will permit property tax burdens to continue swelling after a momentary two-year reprieve.

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Session is Half-Over and Still No Property Tax Relief…Yet

By Vance Ginn, Ph.D.|March 14, 2019
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Monday, March 18 marks the halfway point of the 86th Texas Legislature—a session that began with unprecedented accord among leadership and high hopes for some relief from the skyrocketing property tax burden that drives too many Texans from their homes and businesses each year.

But midway through, there’s little sign of assured tax reform, and none at all of permanent tax relief.

The Legislature still has time to achieve both of these goals—if it will stand up to the lobbyists of the local governments (paid for with taxpayer funds) who want to preserve their ability to raise their revenues with little accountability.

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Gun Grabbers Admit Feds Can’t Enforce Laws Without State and Local Support

Tenth Amendment Center, Mike Maharrey, 02/22/19

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The federal government needs state and local support to enforce gun laws and the anti-gun lobby knows it.

On February 12, around 450 supporters of the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America descended on the state capitol to lobby for passage of a state bill that would bar anybody convicted of domestic violence from owning or possessing a firearm.

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Tennessee Bills Would Require Courts to Fully Inform Juries

The Tenth Amendment Center, By: Published on: Feb 5, 2019

Tennessee Bills Would Require Courts to Fully Inform JuriesNASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 5, 2019) – Bills filed in the Tennessee legislature would require state courts to fully inform jurors of their right to use discretion in rendering verdicts.

Sen. Frank Nicely (R-Strawberry Plains) filed Senate Bill (SB369) on Jan. 30. Rep. Martin Daniel (R-Knoxville) filed a companion bill (HB368) the following day. Under the proposed law, courts would be required to fully inform jurors of their rights at the request of a defendant’s attorney using the following language.

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Bad Numbers

Connecting today’s news with the research and opinion you need from TPPF experts.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to know: Misleading statistics continue to dominate the school finance debate. They’re wrong, and they’re not helping move Texas forward, as just the latest example shows.

“According to the state’s recent budget projections, public schools are expected to see $55.4 billion in funding for the 2019 fiscal year, up from $44 billion in 2010. However, Texas is spending less per student by about 6.3 percent,” the Denton Record-Chronicle reports.

“Property owners will also end up shelling out more for schools. The local share of school revenue — the part funded by property taxes — will go up to 55.5 percent, while the state’s share will drop to 35 percent. Federal money fills in the gaps.”

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A $4 BILLION Dollar Electricity Tax May be Coming to You on December 7

The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) is holding an open meeting on Friday, December 7 at which the commissioners might make changes to a pricing rule that would impose an electricity “tax” on Texas consumers as high as $4 billion a year.

Electricity generators and wind industry representatives asked the PUC in October to adopt the electricity tax because they claim aren’t making enough money.

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The Return of the $4 Billion Electricity Tax

TPPF, By Bill Peacock|November 16, 2018
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Most people don’t like to compete.

Athletes sometimes doctor their equipment to gain an edge in winning their games. Politicians gerrymander their districts rather than compete with their opponents for votes.

In the case of businesses, many of them go to the government get more profits from taxpayers than they could by competing for consumers. This is happening in the Texas electricity market today.

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ABOLISHING the “Robin Hood” School Property Tax

TPPF, Updated August 2018 by Kara Belew Emily Sass Vance Ginn, Ph.D. Bill Peacock
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Increasing Property Tax Transparency

Center for Fiscal Policy, September 20, 2018
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Testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Property Tax Reform by the Honorable Talmadge Heflin
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TEXAS PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION
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Chairman Bettencourt and Members of the Committee:
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My name is Talmadge Heflin, and I am the director of the Center for Fiscal Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan free market think tank based here in Austin. Thank you for inviting me to give testimony on increasing transparency of local property taxes.
Providing transparency of debt proposals. State law requires political subdivisions to provide only two items of information on the ballot for any given proposition: “the amount their local government entity proposes to borrow and a general description of
the purpose,” according to the Texas Comptroller.
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The former is inadequate because it does not properly convey the total cost of the bond issuance, while the latter often lacks specificity and is written in legalese that can be open to interpretation.

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School Districts: Stop Blaming Others for Property Tax Increases

Many elected officials in Hays County have gotten into a very bad (and dishonest) habit of blaming others for property tax increases.

The most recent example of this is when I had a public Facebook conversation with a Dripping Springs ISD school board trustee about property taxes, and I brought up evidence for why I’m concerned about the local school board’s management of our money.

Currently, DSISD has more per-student debt than 98 percent of all school districts in the state, a staggering $76,000 per student. And in just the last year, the average homeowner in our district paid almost $500 more in school taxes.

In my social media conversation with the DSISD school board trustee, we discussed the skyrocketing taxes and alarming debt, but the trustee attempted to shift the focus onto the appraisal district and the state. In reality, the school board is the best opportunity we have to slow down these escalating school property taxes, because they have control over the budget, spending, and the tax rate. The tax rate is the controlling factor in the property tax equation. The property valuation isn’t.

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