FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Harris
Jan. 16, 2018
Statement by Fast Growth School Coalition on Gov. Greg Abbott’s Proposed Property Tax Relief Plan
AUSTIN, TEXAS–The following statement on Gov. Greg Abbott’s just-released property tax relief blueprint should be attributed to Dr. Guy Sconzo, Executive Director, Fast Growth School Coalition (FGSC):
“While we are grateful that Gov. Abbott and state leaders are finally beginning to recognize the need for property tax reform, Gov. Abbott’s just-released reform plan would limit local government’s ability to issue debt and local government’s ability to continually adjust to growth in their communities. It’s simply not a workable solution to the challenges facing local taxpayers and public education.
“The Fast Growth School Coalition, which represents the 83 fastest growing school districts in Texas as well as 80% of student enrollment growth, remains steadfast in its mission to oppose initiatives that seek to hamstring local governments in their issuance of voter-approved debt instruments and tax rates. Fast Growth districts and their local voters are forced to seek new debt to build facilities necessary for their growing student populations because the state’s contribution to facilities has dwindled from 45% of all facilities debt to less than 7%, leaving most fast growth schools without any state assistance for public school facilities.
“Fast growth school districts are already effectively capped by losing state aid for property value increases. So, this could make a bad situation worse in terms of local taxpayers and public school districts’ abilities to keep pace with rapid student growth and demands for new facilities.
“If the State is serious about resolving this issue, then comprehensive school finance reform to diversify our state’s funding of education is the only avenue. Counties, municipalities, and school districts deserve solutions from the State, not further restrictions that hinder their ability to provide necessary services.”
“We’re continuing to evaluate the governor’s proposal, but as we have made clear, local taxpayers will only see real property tax relief when the state funds its public school system sufficiently, including school district facilities.
“We look forward to working with the governor, Speaker Joe Straus, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and state lawmakers as they examine options for how best to ensure Texas public schools receive the funding they need to ensure all students have access to high-quality public schools.”
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