Improving the adequacy and fairness of our state and local tax system is a cornerstone of the center's mission. Here you will find our analyses of tax proposals.
Recent Taxes Publications
The U.S. Congress recently passed a bill that allows taxpayers to deduct their state sales tax payments in calculating federal taxable income. Most Texas families gain absolutely nothing from this change. Fewer than one-quarter of Texas taxpayers - disproportionately those with higher incomes - currently itemize their deductions; only itemizers benefit from a new sales-tax deduction.
Billions More in General Revenue Needed for 2006-07 (09/14/2004)
In a June 16 letter to state agencies, the LBB and Governor's Budget office told agencies to limit their baseline requests for General Revenue in 2006-07 to 95 percent of current GR spending, or 5 percent less.
A new analysis shows just how Texans and their families are doing in wages and employment compared to the average American working family. The news is not good; by many measures, Texas workers trail the national average and are falling further behind.
The Texas House of Representatives is about to consider a constitutional amendment (HJR 1 by Grusendorf) that would permanently reduce the ability of state and local governments to fund public services. The vote on the amendment, which is the key legislation in the current tax-cut/school-finance special session, is currently expected to be on Tuesday. You must act now to avoid passage of this harmful limit on the use of future revenue.
Testimony on Expanding Sales Tax to Services (04/27/2004)
I am Scott McCown,testifying on behalf of the Center for Public Policy Priorities. The center is concerned about how we fund our public schools 1) because adequately funding education is the key to prosperity for low-income Texans, and 2) because if we adopt a revenue stream that can at best only fund K-12 education, we will not be able to meet other essential state needs in higher education, health and human services, and general government.
On April 8, as the final installment of his Educational Excellence and Equity Plan, the governor proposed to eliminate "Robin Hood" and dedicate a portion of any future budget surplus to property tax cuts, funded by slot machines, cigarette tax hikes, accounting changes, and fees on adult entertainment. Without the recapture provisions of the current school finance system, the gap between rich and poor schools would explode.
The Solution, if Robin Hood Was a TAKS Problem (04/3/2004)
The Houston Independent School District is misleading parents and taxpayers when it blames Robin Hood for the district's money woes. For example, a recent posting on HISD's Web site claims it is losing $28 million and 124 jobs because of Robin Hood.
On March 11, as part of his Educational Excellence initiative, the Governor proposed local property tax "relief." However, the proposal does not identify funding to replace lost property tax revenue for schools, and recommends a property tax cap for local governments that could restrict their ability to fund basic services. This Policy Page analyzes the Governor's proposals.
How Much Does Texas Spend on Public Education? (03/1/2004)
The first question many people ask about public school finance seems like the simplest: how much does Texas spend to educate our 4.2 million school children? The answer is important in the current debate about how to raise and distribute money for public education. Before we can decide whether we need to spend more, we have to know how much we are spending now.
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