Property taxes are out of control and it’s outrageous Austin politicians like Gary Elkins won’t fix it.
While policymakers 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 Gary Elkins (R-Jersey Village) and his colleagues in the Texas Legislature have created and sustained a public-school funding system increasingly reliant on local property taxpayers. They vote to cut corporate taxes for their special interest donors, the state’s share of education funding goes down, and they make local property taxpayers make up the difference. It’s a vicious cycle, with no end in sight.
Residents in Elkins’ district need only look at the balance sheets of Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, which is home to all of Gary Elkins’ constituents, to confirm what they already know is true. They are paying more in taxes and getting less from the state.
The situation is dire in Cy-Fair ISD. In 2015, CFISD received $412.9 million in state funding, while local taxpayers paid $455.6 million. By 2017, state funding decreased to $357.5 million while local taxpayers’ share ballooned to $536.5 million. The state’s share dropped by 14 percent while the local share went up 18 percent in just three years.
Meanwhile, as reported by Community Impact, CFISD was forced to consider cutting educator positions and freezing pay raises to mitigate a $40 million budget deficit at the same time the district, staff and residents are struggling to recover from Hurricane Harvey.
Gary Elkins wants us to believe, just a few weeks before the election, he’s finally committed to addressing our 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 Gary Elkins is to blame.
We need policymakers who will put our kids first, and invest in their futures, not in the fortunes of special interest donors and their greed. We need to Reform Austin.
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