State Representative Tony Tinderholt (R – Arlington) has been a member of the Texas Legislature for five years. He wants his constituents to believe he supports property tax relief to help small businesses and homeowners, but fails to mention he’s the one responsible for their taxes going up in the first place.
In Austin, lawmakers like Tony Tinderholt have created and sustained a public school funding system increasingly reliant on local property taxpayers. They voted to cut corporate taxes, reducing the state’s share of education funding; and then pass the buck to local governments across the state.
Residents in District 94 need only look at the balance sheets of two local school districts – Arlington ISD and Mansfield ISD – which together make up over 95 percent of the district’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, Arlington ISD received $262.2 million in state funding while local taxpayers paid 228.8 million. This trend did not last. By Fiscal Year 2018 state funding decreased to $197.9 million, while local taxpayers’ share increased to $285.6 million. That’s a 25 percent decrease in state funding and a 25 percent increase from local taxpayers in just four years.
Mansfield ISD still receives a majority of their funding from the state with each new budget state funding decrease and local taxpayers’ share increase. In 2015, Mansfield received $142.8 million in state funding while local taxpayers paid $115.4 million. By 2017, state funding stayed about the same at $143.7 while the local taxpayers’ share ballooned to $138.1 million.
Meanwhile, the Star-Telegram reports residents in the North Texas have experienced property taxes increase so high they are forced to consider leaving their homes.
Establishment politicians want us to believe – a few weeks before the election – they are finally concerned about skyrocketing local property taxes. We know the truth – it’s the politicians in Austin like Tony Tinderholt who are directly responsible for this problem. They shower tax cuts on their big, corporate special interest donors and pass the state’s revenue shortfalls on to local school districts.
We can’t be fooled by more politics as usual. Taxpayers across Texas are paying more in taxes and getting less. If we are to fix our state and get the transparency and tax fairness we deserve, we must demand politicians stand up to their corporate donors and help us Reform Austin.