More state funding for education requiring local school districts to reduce their tax rates.
Facing a cautiously optimistic fiscal forecast, lawmakers expect to have an additional $10 billion or so to spend over the next two years, compared with the previous budget cycle. They agreed to allocate $6.5 billion in new state funding for schools and $5.1 billion to buy down Texans' local property taxes, which are supplemented by state dollars to pay for public education.
In the end, lawmakers raised the price tag of their education and property tax proposals to about $11.6 billion, and they nixed the mandated across-the-board pay raise. Instead, the final proposal raises the amount of per-student funding each school district receives and mandates that a portion of that funding go toward salary increases and benefits. Districts are expected to prioritize raises and benefits for teachers with more than five years of experience, but otherwise would have flexibility on how to offer salary increases.
On property taxes, analysts estimate the bill would lower tax rates by an average of 8 cents per $100 valuation in 2020 and 13 cents in 2021. That would mean a tax cut of $200 for the owner of a $250,000 home in 2020 and $325 in 2021.
- Texas Tribune, May 27, 2019