Property taxes are too high and school funding is insufficient.
Mike is determined to make Texas public schools the best in America. He will end discussion of vouchers once and for all, end high stakes testing, restore retired teacher benefits, protect active teacher retirement security (including a fully-funded defined benefit pension plan), increase compensation for teachers and support staff, reduce class size, increase special education teachers, fully invest in pre-K, restore trade and technical training, invest to make our schools safe, and so forth.
While Mike’s plan requires more funding, Mike will NOT raise property taxes. Dan Patrick has raised taxes far too high already, and this must stop.
Instead, Mike will close a big corporate property tax loophole, known as the Equal and Uniform Loophole, that was enacted into law in 1997 and which created a “property tax death spiral” that has driven homeowner and small business taxes up, while forcing school districts to cut funding repeatedly.
Closing the loophole is NOT raising taxes. It is merely enforcing the Texas Constitution. And it will recover $5 billion per year from owners of large commercial and industrial properties who are cheating the system. With this money, we can increase investment in public education without raising property taxes.
Mike also believes the state should stop cutting its share of school funding, and stop mandating local property tax increases (Dan Patrick raised school property taxes more than 26% during his term in office). And Mike will end the practice of using recapture (or Robinhood) transfers to pay the state’s bills.