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gmoses Donating Member (105 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:19 PM
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Review of Oral Arguments in School Funding
During Wednesday's oral hearing on school funding, justices of the Texas Supreme Court seemed to agree that the right of Texas children to an "adequate" education is a Constitutional principle suitable for them to consider, but they seemed to have mixed opinions whether the question is "ripe" for their intervention at this time.

On the other hand, when it comes to the question of property taxes -- the question that first started the recent round of court activity -- justices seemed more clearly sympathetic. The current cap on local school property taxes at $1.50 per hundred dollars of valuation seemed to be heading toward a court-ordered lift.

Yet even the attorney for property-rich school districts seeking to lift the $1.50 cap argued that simply lifting the cap would not provide a viable solution to the complex inadequacies of funding.

On a third key issue before the court, justices seemed to accept as obvious claims made by MALDEF that facilities funding is not equitable.
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navvet Donating Member (190 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:25 PM
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1. Using Property Taxes to fund schools has
lead to no end of hate and discontent here in Wisconsin.

I would like it to be done at the state level with a uniform amount given based on population of school age children agreed on by a qualified commission of educators and political leadership.

The funding mechanism should be all inclusive such as from the General tax fund or other such universal tax.

Property tax should only be used to fund city/municipal functions.

At least that's what I think.

:toast: :dem:
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gmoses Donating Member (105 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:40 PM
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3. I agree
for some reason nobody expects income taxes to stay in the neighborhood, yet property taxes seem to follow the old motto: "roads are laid where tax is paid" -- how we liberate the "common dilemma" of education with a "common solution" is a deep problem of political will in Texas
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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:36 PM
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2. If they lift the cap you are going to see all he** break loose
People have been expecting and repeatedly told to expect lower bills. If they go up instead (regardless of how badly the money is needed) you are going to see a huge movement to change this, and given the average Texan I don't think it is going to be pretty.
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ThJ Donating Member (383 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:08 PM
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4. My mantra for the last couple of years...
has been to expand the tax base. The whole problem of school finance (and state financing of other programs, such as CHIP) stems from this fundamental problem - over-reliance on sales and property taxes.

Expanding the sales tax to cover services, as well as goods, would be an important first step, and much more beneficial than raising the rate.

Closing the franschise tax loopholes and expanding the franchise tax to cover more corporations and partnerships (particualrly law firms) would also be beneficial.

The creation of an income tax is unlikely although it would help to lower the overall tax burdern, because it would first have to pass both the House and Senate and then pass in a statewide referendum, and the payroll tax option was shot down in the House yesterday. A more politically viable solution might be a BAT tax.

If these options were implemented, it would lower the overall tax burden, especially on the lowest income quintiles and would allow local governments to lower the property tax rates. The state could also assume more control over school finance by increasing their share of funding and thus enable an efficient and equitable funding program (if the state was in control of more of the money, Robin Hood would be unnecessary, since the state could appropriate the funds directly).
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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
5. David Van Os responds to Greg Abbott
Press release issued today.
July 8, 2005

David Van Os, a Democratic candidate for Attorney General in next
year's state elections, reacted forcefully to the closely watched
school finance lawsuit in which the Texas Supreme Court took
arguments on July 6:

"Attorney General Greg Abbott's lawyers told the Texas Supreme Court
that if the legislature decided to provide no public education beyond
the fourth grade the Court would have no power to do anything about

"It is disgraceful for the Attorney General of Texas to tell the
Supreme Court of Texas that Texas courts have no power to enforce the
Constitutional mandate of a quality public education for every

"The founders of Texas placed that mandate in the Texas Constitution
because they had the vision to understand that an educated citizenry
is essential to the preservation of democracy. The founders also
established an independent judicial branch of government because they
understood the fundamental necessity of a system of checks and

"Texans cannot afford an Attorney General who goes to our highest
Court and dismisses the Constitution as if our Constitutional system
of government were just a law school class game.

"Our Attorney General must understand that he is the people's
lawyer. Telling the Court that the Constitution is unenforceable is
not an alternative; it's a complete avoidance of responsibility.

"Once again, Greg Abbott engaged in political grandstanding for the
benefit of his radical political base. Texas schoolchildren deserve a
people's lawyer for an Attorney General, not a political gamesman."

Way to tell it like is is David!

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