King Calls for Constitutional Amendment to Abolish School Property Tax

December 5, 2007

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Austin – Citing the need to secure a more reliable, long-term solution to fund schools, State Representative Phil King (R-Weatherford) today called for a constitutional amendment to abolish school property taxes in Texas and instead fully fund public education with the sales tax system.

King said, “Over the past several months, I’ve talked about this proposal at almost every service club and chamber in my district, and the response is always the same: Texans overwhelmingly prefer the sales tax to out of control property taxes. They know there is a better way to finance public education without punishing businesses, taxpayers and jeopardizing the American Dream of home ownership.”

“Property owners are at their wits end, because the school property tax is like a variable rate mortgage on a loan that is never paid off. You never really get to own your property. I believe it is time to admit that the school property tax system just cannot be fixed. The courts have tried, the legislature has tried, school districts and appraisal districts have tried. The problem is that we are trying to correct a fundamentally flawed means of financing public schools. Texans are tired of dealing with this broken model, and it’s frankly time to start over.”

“A plan to fully fund public education can be structured in a way that protects our low income citizens, benefits our schools and strengthens our economy. Consumption taxes are fair, predictable and will spread the cost of education over the economy at large. Abolishing school property taxes would dramatically reduce mortgage payments, put real money in all property owners’ pockets, and provide a needed boost to the building and real estate industries. Lease rates would go down. Some foreclosures could be averted. Even the underground economy, as well as those here illegally, would be forced to help finance our schools.”