By blowing holes in our revenue systems, and then borrowing billions and driving debt service costs up, the state has made a complete hash of our finances. We simply don’t have enough money to make ends meet. And the one place lawmakers always turn for more money is local property taxes.
Texas is a prosperous state, and our government doesn’t waste a penny. So why are property taxes so high?
Legislators frittered away the Rainy Day Fund long ago. Sure, it has a cash balance — according to the books, anyway. But that cash, amounting to roughly $10 billion, is offset by debt, amounting to roughly $50 billion.
Requiring the Comptroller's Office to update the state's revenue forecast every three months would be a tremendous improvement over the ancient method of predicting revenues at the start of each legislative session, baking a two-year budget around the numbers — and then not revising the forecast until after the governor has signed the budget and lawmakers have gone home.
The state's appraisal system is highly politicized and primarily benefiting well-connected insiders. Here's how to fix it.