Posts for mlevin

New Report Shows Texas Property Tax Collections Have Increased Since 2005

Total property taxes paid by Texans actually rose from 20.3 billion in 2005 to 22 billion in 2007, despite the 2005 school property tax rate cuts, according to a new study. Thus, property tax collections have increased 8.4%, more than the 4.4% increase in state’s population during this period, and now we have the new business margins tax.

By |August 18, 2008
Procurement Expert: Government May Grow While Family Budgets Shrink

The head of a a leading firm that assists companies in obtaining government contracts writes in an Austin Business Journal piece entitled “Gov’t spending isn’t slowing” that, while families are tightening their belts, “many regions of the state will see major spending increases from governmental entities” and that most school districts “are fairly comfortable.”

By |August 6, 2008
Taking North Texas Taxpayers for a Ride

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports today that North Texas officials will ask the Legislature to authorize a huge hike in the vehicle registration fee – as much as $105 more per year – to bankroll an expansion of light rail. For consumers already struggling with high gas prices, will this drive them over the edge?

By |August 4, 2008
Does Texas Need an Independent Inspector General's Office to Root Out Fraud & Waste?

Senator Bob Deuell proposes the creation of such an office for the “main” state agencies in today’s Dallas Morning News and Governor Rick Perry’s office indicates support. The issue came up after controversial firings at the Texas Education Agency’s Inspector General’s office – currently big agencies like TEA have their own inspector general’s office.

By |July 12, 2008
Plenty of Money for Property Tax Relief

A new report by the Rockefeller Institute finds that, while other states are sagging, Texas sales tax revenues are up 12 percent from last July through March and the Comptroller is predicting a $10.7 billion surplus. Thus, the national economic slowdown, which has reduced revenues in some states, will not be an excuse for failing to deliver property tax relief.

By |July 5, 2008
Margins Tax Strikes Sour Note for Kids Learning Instruments

One of the true taxpayer heroes in the Legislature, Rep. Ken Paxton (R-McKinney), reports in his newsletter today that the Music Conservatory of Texas, which taught over 33,000 music lessons in 2007, paid $6,200 of its $8,394 in profit to the state under the new business tax.

By |June 27, 2008