Proposition 1 does not hurt school funding

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09/29/2015 | Author: Mark Lehman

In Lehman's Terms

The purpose behind this column is to simplify legislative jargon and offer a clear understanding of public policy. Explaining the complicated wording of Proposition 1 on the statewide November 3 ballot is a perfect topic.

The simple effort to lower property taxes and ban a tax on real estate sales has resulted in a 112-word proposition on the ballot. That complex language distracts from the legislative intent of the measure and opens the door for misinformation. The latest misinformation about Prop 1 involves school funding.

Voters are being told that Proposition 1 will hurt school funding. This is absolutely not true.

It’s understandable to question how this measure affects school funding. After all, Proposition 1 lowers property taxes, and schools get all of their funding from property taxes.

However, in the legislation that resulted in Proposition 1, the Texas Legislature made it absolutely clear that school districts will not lose any funding as a result of the property-tax reduction.

Proposition 1 lowers property taxes, bans a sales tax on real estate, saves money for seniors and disabled Texans, and mandates that Texas reimburse local school districts for any loss in revenue.

That’s the 112-word ballot language in Lehman’s terms. 

Mark Lehman is vice president of governmental affairs at the Texas Association of REALTORS®. Political ad by the Texas Association of REALTORS®.

Categories: In Lehman's Terms
Tags: proposition 1, elections, legislative issues


Jack Nabors on 10/30/2015

Yes where will this reimbursement for schools come from…..?  Hmmm…maybe the lottery ....yeah 5hat was a wolf in sheep’s clothing…red a ...NO to Prop 1… send my over pay tax to my local school…Texas can’t even keep computers in our local school. Number one for me is our future..Kids education and the ones teaching them.

Rosario Grubbs on 10/18/2015

It sounds too good to be true, therefore… after taking all in consideration it is not a good deal for the people, just more power for the politicians. Sorry can’t support it.

Ben Westney on 10/03/2015

Put more school funding responsibility in the hands of our wacko state lege… What could possibly go wrong? Isn’t it pretty much their goal to destroy effective public education in favor of vouchers and charter schools? What about the likelihood that state funds will be tied to religious and idological boondoggles like abstinence-only sex ed and right wing revisionist history?
After seeing what they did in undermining Denton’s ability to regulate fracking at the local level Prop 1 seems like the worst idea possible. I ENJOY paying property taxes and chose my house primarily based on the quality of the schools. I don’t wish to have local control taken away and given to our horrible and reckless state legislature.

Am slade on 10/02/2015

It’s lovely that they are lowering tac value by 10k but my local school is raising 351Miilion bond!! So that will be painful tax increase. #hpisd

Kristine Baugh on 10/01/2015

Thanks for the interpretation, Mr. Lehman.  I agree with others who’ve stated that this proposition tries to cover too much territory.  To say that oil and gas excise tax revenues will make up for the difference in reduced school revenues (with oil prices as low as they are) is a big red flag to me.  I can’t support this proposition AS IT IS WRITTEN without further clarification.

Mark Lehman on 09/30/2015

@Dyana: Currently, seniors’ frozen property taxes are calculated with a $15,000 homestead exemption. The language you referenced to “unfreeze” the taxes on senior citizens is simply the mechanism to get seniors and disabled Texans the benefit of the new $25,000 homestead exemption.  The Texas Legislature made it clear that there will be no reappraisal of homes on the elderly.  The value of the home that was established when their freeze went into effect will not be changed.  Seniors will now use that same value plus a $25,000 homestead exemption instead of the previous $15,000 homestead exemption.  Please make no mistake: Proposition 1 expands property tax relief for seniors and disabled Texans.

Nancy Wey on 09/30/2015

Thank you Mr. Lehman for the quick clarification. I guess I’d better do some more research as it sounds as if we’ve got excess revenues that we will give to School Districts to cover their losses, but!  I’d have to see the numbers on that, as the enormity of the losses state-wide seems as if it would eat up rather quickly this excess you mention.

Mark Lehman on 09/30/2015

@Nancy: Sales-tax and oil-and-gas excise tax revenues in Texas are at an all-time high, so the funds will come from our surplus revenue.  The Texas Legislature felt that instead of collecting more taxes that were not being spent, they would refund this money to the citizens of Texas as a property-tax reduction.

Nancy Wey on 09/30/2015

Mr. Lehman, when you say the proposition “mandates that Texas reimburse local school districts for any loss in revenue”, where will this reimbursement come from?

Dyana Babik on 09/30/2015

My concern with this proposition is they have too many items comingled into one vote.  To unfreeze the taxes of retired persons is going to cause an immediate reappraisal of homes for the elderly that may not be able to recover from.  This is a shame that the proposition is being done secretly and not making people aware of the true consequences.

Tom Morgan on 09/29/2015

Mark Lehman explains the ballot in terms even I can understand.  Thank you!

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