Property taxes are out of control and it’s outrageous Austin politicians won’t fix it.
While politicians 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 Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving) now says he wants to bring property tax relief to homeowners, but when he had the opportunity to stand up for taxpayers he instead voted with his 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 years.” Can Dallas County taxpayers really expect anything to change?
District 115 residents need only look at the balance sheets of two local district – Coppell ISD and Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD – which together are home to over 80 percent of the Matt Rinaldi’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, Coppell ISD received $15.1 million in state funding, while $82.7 million came from local taxpayers. By Fiscal Year 2018, CISD’s state funding decreased to $8 million, while local taxpayers’ share ballooned to $100.1 million. In addition, CISD had to send $37 million of its local tax dollars to Austin to fund the state’s Robin Hood school finance system.
The situation is just as dire in Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD. In 2016, they received $41.1 million in state funding, while local taxpayers paid $209.2 million. The following year state funding decreased to $33.2 million, while local taxpayers’ share increased to $224.4 million.
Meanwhile, the Dallas Morning News reports school districts in the area are requesting higher property taxes because those in Austin aren’t doing their job of funding schools.
Matt Rinaldi wants us to believe – a few weeks before the election – he’s finally concerned about skyrocketing local property taxes. We know 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 government.
We won’t be fooled. Taxpayers across Texas are paying more in taxes and getting less, and failed policymakers like Matt Rinaldi are to blame. If we are to fix our state and get the transparency and tax fairness we deserve, we need to Reform Austin.