Lt. Governor Bill Ratliff has proposed a statewide property tax of $1.40 per $100 of a property's assessed value, which would then be distributed to districts on a per-pupil basis. The idea is to try to do something about the disparity in funding between rich and poor districts, which is $910 per pupil right now.
I'm not fully sure what I think about this just yet. I strongly suspect that this would raise my property taxes. I'm a good liberal and all that, but that doesn't mean I have to enjoy eating my vegetables. The usual cadre of anti-tax groups appear to be against it, so that means it probably will be effective. Neither Governor Goodhair or Tony Sanchez has issued a position yet.
I think this is probably a step in the right direction. It's awfully hard to discuss taxes in a rational manner anywhere, but here in Texas it's damn near impossible. Let's hope that the simplicity of Ratliff's proposal will at least make it reasonably immune to sound-bite attacks so we can critique it intelligently.Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 05, 2002 to Election 2002