State Representative Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas) likes to tout his “friend of the taxpayer” credentials in his campaign for District 108 in the Texas House. What he doesn’t mention is he’s responsible for our taxes going up in the first place.
Lawmakers in Austin like Morgan Meyer have created and sustained a public school funding system that is increasingly reliant on local property taxpayers, while the state’s share of funding goes down. The Texas Tribune reported on September 12th “the Texas Education Agency projected a drop in the state’s general revenue for public education by more than $3.5 billion over the next couple of years, in part because the revenue from local property taxes is expected to skyrocket.”
District 108 residents need only look at the balance sheets of two local school districts — Highland Park ISD and Dallas ISD. Together, they are home to all of Morgan Meyer’s constituents, who are painfully aware they are paying more in taxes and getting less from the state.
Consider Highland Park ISD. In Fiscal Year 2014, HPISD received $7 million in state funding, while local taxpayers paid $126.7 million. By Fiscal Year 2017, state funding decreased to $5.4 million while local taxpayers’ share ballooned to $151 million. The state’s share dropped 22 percent, while the local share went up 16 percent in four years. The district grew, education costs went up, and state funding dropped?
A similar situation is occurring in Dallas ISD. In 2014, DISD received $380.7 million in state funding, while local taxpayers paid $871.2 million. By 2018, state funding decreased to $204.7 million, while local taxpayers’ share skyrocketed to $1.3 billion. The state’s share dropped 46 percent while the local share went up 34 percent in just 4 years.
Meanwhile, Fox 4 News reports Dallas ISD was recently forced to put a $0.13 cent tax increase on the November ballot to close a $449 million budget shortfall.
Morgan Meyer wants us to believe – a few weeks before the election – he’s finally concerned about skyrocketing local property taxes. He knows the truth – he and his fellow politicians in Austin are directly responsible for this problem – because they cut taxes for their big, corporate special interest donors, and passed the state’s revenue shortfalls to local governments.
We can’t be fooled. Taxpayers across Texas are paying more in taxes and getting less, and failed policymakers like Morgan Meyer are to blame. If we are to fix our state and get the transparency and tax fairness we deserve, we need to Reform Austin.