Chris Tackett of Fort Worth has posted a timely warning about Governor Greg Abbott’s bait and switch, which steals billions from public schools.

He writes:

$30 Billion over 10 years. Do I have your attention? Good, now keep reading.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott put forth a Property Tax Policy on January 16th, 2018, that will get a lot of attention in the new 86th Legislative session. You can read an article about it here, or you can read the full policy proposal here. The element I’m going to focus on is the cap on property tax revenue growth.

Abbott wants to limit the revenue that a city, county or school district can collect from property taxes to an increase of 2.5% year-over-year. This isn’t a cap on what you, the individual, might be assessed or have to pay (which is how Governor Abbott seems to be pitching things on Twitter)…

I’ll dive into the details if you want to keep reading, but here is key element. If the Governor’s 2.5% Tax Revenue cap was in place for the past 10 years, the additional dollars that the state would have had to make up, just to keep our school districts even (cities and counties would have their own costs not included here), would have been approximately $30 Billion. Yeah, that’s right. $30 Billion.
How did I come up with that really big number? You have to look year by year at every district, as the cap applies on a district by district basis. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has data from the Texas Comptroller that details the property value assigned for school funding as well as the M&O rate (maintenance and operations, or what pays for the things inside the school, rather than the building itself)…

Texas on the whole is growing. This is generally a good thing, much better than the alternative that other states are facing. But when Texas grows, supply and demand says that property gets more expensive. This drives up valuations. Many people chose cities and districts based on the services available to themselves and their families, which creates more demand and again drives up valuations. Do we really want to jeopardize our schools and our communities by imposing a state level of control, which will impact the level of services that those who reside in these communities are asking for?
Many in the legislature and our governor talk about “local control”, but they seemingly don’t want to actually give communities and school districts the ability to set their own tax rates and create an environment for continued growth all across our state. This cap will potentially cripple our school districts, as well as our cities and counties. Why would we do that to ourselves?

Why would Governor Abbott and the Legislature want to steal money from the state’s children? That’s bad for them and bad for Texas?