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Thursday, May 23, 2024
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McAllen
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If Your School Property Taxes Are Too High for the Next Two Years, Thank Abbott and Patrick

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Dan Patrick’s defense of state education spending is also a pretty good argument for an income tax.

by R.G. RATCLIFFE

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick is making a compelling argument that the state needs an income tax. With a PowerPoint presentation at hand, Patrick opened this week by demonstrating to about two hundred people at a pre-special session conference of the Texas Public Policy Foundation that under the state’s current tax structure there is no money available for an expensive fix to the public school finance system and the high local property taxes that pay for the lion’s share of it. The state spent what it had on the current two-year budget, he said.  “That’s all there is folks,” Patrick said. “There is no more money.”

Patrick, of course, is not advocating for an income tax. He opposes a state income tax. But Patrick was using it as a specter to haunt House Speaker Joe Straus, who wants to tackle the thorny issue of public school finance while figuring out how to pay down local property taxes. “I believe there is a movement within our own party, led by the speaker, who wants to pass a personal income tax and billions and billions of dollars to increase spending,” Patrick said. “You’ve heard him say again and again and again that you have to put billions and billions of dollars into public education.” Straus on Monday stated flatly that he also opposes an income tax but favors school finance reform.

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