State Senator Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) wants constituents to believe his self-proclaimed status as a champion for Texas taxpayers. What he doesn’t mention is he’s actually responsible for taxes going up in the first place.
Austin lawmakers like Kelly Hancock have created and sustained a public school funding system increasingly reliant on local property taxpayers. They cut taxes for big corporations, freeze the state’s share of funding, and then pass the buck to local governments across the state.
District 9 residents need only look at the balance sheets of three local school districts — Arlington ISD, Birdville ISD, and Keller ISD — which together are home to nearly half of Kelly Hancock’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 2016, Arlington ISD received $256.9 million in state funding, while local taxpayers paid $234.9 million. By 2018, state funding dropped to $197.9 million, while local taxpayers’ share ballooned to $285.6 million. The state’s share decreased 22.9 percent while the local tax revenue went up 21.5 percent in just two years.
The situation is just as dire in Birdville ISD. In 2015, BISD received $105.3 million in state funding, while local taxpayers paid $80.2 million. By 2018, state funding decreased to $89.6 million, while local taxpayers’ share ballooned to $102.1 million. The state’s share dropped by 14.9 percent while the local share went up 27.3 percent in just three years.
Meanwhile, as reported by NBC DFW, Keller ISD – among other North Texas School districts – are having to put tax increases (TRE) on the ballot, citing the continued shrinkage of state funding and an ever increasing local responsibility to fund the district.
In 2015, Keller ISD received $96.9 million in state funding, while local taxpayers paid $146.7 million. By 2018, state funding shrunk to $73.2 million, while local taxpayers increased to $215.8 million. The state’s share dropped by 24.4 percent while the local share went up 47.1 percent in just three years.
Kelly Hancock wants us to believe, just a few weeks before the election, he’s now concerned about skyrocketing local property taxes; but he and his fellow politicians in Austin are responsible for this problem.
Don’t be fooled. We are paying more in taxes and getting less, and Kelly Hancock is to blame. We need our policymakers to step up to the policy plate and protect local taxpayers by properly funding education on the state level. We need to Reform Austin.