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 Paul Workman (R – Travis County) 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 Travis County taxpayers really expect anything to change?
Home to over 60 percent of the district’s constituents, Austin ISD and Leander ISD residents can confirm what they already know is true. They are paying more in taxes and getting less from the state.
In 2015, Austin ISD received $63.6 million in state funding, while local taxpayers paid $914.1 million. By 2018, AISD’s state funding decreased to $55 million, while local taxpayers’ share ballooned to $1.2 billion. On top of that, AISD sent $533.8 million – nearly half of its local tax revenue – back to the state to fund the “Robin Hood” school finance system.
In Fiscal Year 2016, Leander ISD received $79.9 million in state funding, while $210.4 million came from local taxpayers. By Fiscal Year 2017, state funding decreased to $77.9 million while local funding grew to $235.6 million.
Meanwhile the Austin American Statesman reports school taxes have risen by 54 percent since 2012 with the district expecting to lose about $11.8 million in state funding and an enrollment decrease.
Paul Workman 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 pass the state’s revenue shortfalls on to local government.
We can’t be fooled. Taxpayers across Texas are paying more in taxes and getting less and failed policymakers like Paul Workman are to blame. If we are to fix our state and get the transparency and tax fairness we deserve, we need to Reform Austin.