Did you know that our state budget has increased from $200 billion to $248 billion under Abbott? That’s 48 billion all while property taxes have increased dramatically. The only way to lower or eliminate property taxes is to find other sources of revenue, it's simple economics.
Taxing districts (state, county, city, ISD) are recklessly spending every penny they collect in addition to issuing new bonds. Remember, debt must be repaid with interest and this takes time. Consumption-based revenue streams would have an immediate impact on lowering your property taxes, but implementing a such a tax policy would result in high consumption taxes on goods and services impacting every Texan. But, if we do not rein in the establishment's tax and spend approach, property taxes will continue to spiral out of control.
My plan is to tackle spending and debt before finding alternative revenue sources. Only when spending and debt are brought under control, will we then be in a position to actually lower property taxes with the goal of eliminating them over time.
So, what are some of the specifics of the Prather plan?
First, I would cut government spending and buy down property tax with the surplus, put 2-3% cap on appraisal values, and then look into freezing property values at the purchase price. Property appreciation would be tied to economic indices or locked in at 1.5-2%, similar to California's prop 13 but with an escalation. I would add a 1% increase in sales tax and a .05 fuel tax, dedicated to ISD funding used to eliminate recapture. A value added or perhaps a consumption tax capped around 9% would effectively raise state revenue from the most affluent in our society.
To get spending under control a ISDs with a low debt should be rewarded with more state funding and ISDs with a high debt should be penalized. If ISDs were forced to pay down their debt they would think twice before floating unnecessary bonds. In addition, I would include the typical boilerplate promises of the economic "conservatives" but actually pursue them.
- Maintain Texas’ no state income tax legacy.
- Improve job creation from within the state. We don’t need California empires relocating to Texas.
- Veto efforts to increase involuntary taxes.
- Cut unnecessary regulations on business.
- Make it easier to start and run a small business in Texas.
- Increase education opportunities that produce job-holders not degree-holders.
- Review state licensing requirements that hinder skilled individuals from actually doing their jobs.
- Invest in Texas businesses that are ALREADY here.
- Open Texas for business. Eliminate mandates that stop people from making money.