Speaker Straus, others, misleading public on property tax reform issue before the 85th Legislature

Robert Pratt photo Copyright Pratt on Texas

Robert Pratt

“House Speaker Joe Straus told school board members from across Texas on Wednesday evening that the way to improve public education and reduce property taxes is to increase state support for education and that legislation to regulate bathrooms and offer state money for private school tuition is wrongheaded and counterproductive,” the Austin American-Statesman reported.

image: Joe Straus

Speaker Joe Straus

Now listen carefully and learn how politicians divert attention and conflate issues: Straus said at the Texas Association of School Boards Post-Legislative Conference “Somebody is going to pay for public education. It’s either going to come from the state or it’s going to from local property taxes. If we want real property tax reform we need real reform of school finance.”

While there is no doubt that schools take the biggest chunk of local property taxes, Straus is pushing a lie that the property tax reform before the 85th Legislature has to do with school funding. He knows that’s not true as schools already have limits. The property tax reform he doesn’t want to address primarily effects counties, cities, and special taxing districts, not school districts.

I told you weeks ago that I’d picked up on this strategy from House liberal Republicans and said they were going to do as Abilene’s Rep. Lambert did in an email to a constituent and dishonestly conflate school finance with the lower increase cap and automatic rollback elections for cities and counties.

The Speaker proves I was right and that this line of bull is a decided scheme to confuse less-aware voters back home (as well as horribly ignorant members of local media.)

If someone tells you the property tax reform item pushed all regular session and added to the special session by Abbott has something to do with a rework of school finance, call them a liar.

Joe Straus, Stan Lambert and others can and will fool many people by wrongly conflating the property tax reform item on the agenda with school finance. Their open dishonesty is disgusting but you can help turn the tables by informing others of what is truly at stake and also by contacting legislators and telling them to pass the meaningful property tax reform Governor Abbott has put on the agenda.

If someone tells you the property tax reform item pushed all regular session and added to the special session by Abbott has something to do with a rework of school finance, call them a liar to their face.

What do you think?...

© Pratt on Texas / Perstruo Texas, Inc.