Property taxes are out of control and it’s outrageous Austin politicians won’t fix it.
While they pledge to tackle the problem during election season, the truth is they created this crisis. They voted to cut taxes for big corporations and froze education spending when they said the state didn’t have the funds. Then they passed the buck to local school districts to make up the difference.
State Representative Linda Koop (R-Dallas) now says she wants to bring property tax relief to homeowners, but when she had the opportunity to stand up for taxpayers she instead voted with her fellow establishment politicians to give tax relief to big corporations.
The Texas Tribune recently reported the Texas Education Agency is forecasting a cut to education spending of “more than $3.5 billion over the next couple of years.” Can Dallas County taxpayers really expect anything to change?
Dallas County residents need only look at the balance sheets of two local school districts — Richardson ISD and Dallas ISD — which is home to most of Linda Koop’s constituents to confirm what they already know is true. They are paying more in taxes and getting less from the state.
In Fiscal Year 2015, Richardson ISD received $103.7 million in state funding, while local taxpayers paid $189.3 million. By Fiscal Year 2018, state funding decreased to $84.7 million, while local taxpayers’ share increased to $258.3 million. The state’s funding dropped by 18 percent while the local share went up 36 percent in just four years. Not surprisingly, state funding to RISD is projected to decline another $41.8 million over the next five years.
From 2016 to 2017, Dallas ISD received a 25.5 percent decrease in funding from the state, while taxes for local property owners increased 10 percent. In other words, DISD lost $88 million in state aid funding while property taxes in the school district increased by $114 million.
Linda Koop wants us to believe – a few weeks before the election – she’s finally concerned about skyrocketing local property taxes. We know the truth – she and her 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 won’t be fooled. Taxpayers across Texas are paying more in taxes and getting less, and failed policymakers like Linda Koop are to blame. If we are to fix our state and get the transparency and tax fairness we deserve, we need to Reform Austin.