Abbott signs HB3 with good tax reform, too much spending

Pratt on TexasTuesday, on stage at a Pflugerville elementary school, Governor Abbott signed House Bill 3, the public school finance bill passed by the 86th Texas Legislature. It is claimed by the Austin American-Statesman that the bill “makes the most sweeping changes in at least the last several years to the way Texas public schools are financed.”

“This one law does more to advance education in Texas than any law that I have seen in my adult lifetime in the state of Texas. We stepped up and changed the way we are providing the funding…for student needs instead of student zip codes,” Abbott said rather hyperbolically.

Image: Greg Abbott

Gov. Greg Abbott

About the substantive school district property tax relief, Abbott said: “This law, which transforms education, also transforms property tax in the state of Texas.”

The Statesman summed up the property tax functions of HB 3 by saying: “Property tax rates that school districts levy will drop by an average of 8 cents per $100 property valuation in 2020 and another 5 cents per $100 property valuation in 2021. By 2021, an owner of a home with a taxable value of $300,000 will see a savings of about $390. Future property tax relief will be driven by a provision in the bill that would prevent school districts from generating more than 2.5% more each year in revenue on a large portion of their property tax rates.”

it is a shining accomplishment on the tax side of the issue.

It’s not as good a bill as would have come with stronger conservative leadership in the House but it is a shining accomplishment on the tax side of the issue. On the spending side HB 3 is a profligate handout to the public school bureaucracy that doesn’t force them to become more efficient and focused upon academics.

Comments

  1. Ralph Mollet says

    You’re right about HB3 doing nothing to reduce the inefficient bureaucrats. In fact, HB3 makes them worse. By allowing each district to decide how to apportion the “raises for teachers”, HB3 enables hacks like the Houston ISD board. They are about to give a whopping 3 percent raise to their teachers, while passing the rest of their multi-million dollar windfall on to their already overpaid administrators. I wish you could call out these jerks and others like them on one of your shows.

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