The typical homeowner in North Texas’ largest suburb has seen their school property tax bill increase by 84 percent in ten years, due to the “Robin Hood” tax and massive bond debt.

According to data from the Texas Education Agency, Plano Independent School District taxpayers have collectively paid more than $1.67 billion into the Chapter 41 Wealth Equalization program—also know as “Robin Hood.” The $1.67 billion figure represents the total amount in school taxes paid by PISD property owners (since 1994) that were not spent in PISD schools.

Instead, the state “recaptured” these funds and redistributed them to schools in other districts. In 2017, the state recaptured $104.5 million in PISD property taxes, and in 2018, the number spiked to more than $154.5 million.

Again, in 2018, PISD taxpayers will pay $154.5 million in school taxes that do not stay in PISD schools.

If Robin Hood was repealed, PISD taxpayers would pay lower school taxes, without reducing funding to PISD schools.

Texans for Fiscal Responsibility has long advocated for repeal of the Robin Hood tax. The state could phase out the tax over time by using existing revenue streams to increase its portion of school funding, and reducing its dependency on local school taxes.

Although a glaring problem, the unfair system does not account for the full 84 percent tax increase paid by Plano homeowners. The PISD school board is also responsible.

The board has voted to increase PISD’s property tax rate by 10.4 percent since 2009, of which most is due to massive debt they’ve asked voters to approve. While some of the funds were needed for new schools and other capital expenses, some of it has been spent on dubious projects.

As a result, PISD’s tax rate has increased from $1.3030 per $100 in property valuation in 2009, to $1.4390 per $100 in 2018. Again, that’s a 10.4 tax rate increase, on top of skyrocketing home values. Nearly all of it is due to debt, not Robin Hood.

How has the rate increase impacted the typical Plano homeowner, who has seen their taxable home value increase 60 percent since 2009, from $250,000 to $400,000?

Their PISD property tax bill has increased a staggering 84 percent in ten years, from $2,932 to $5,396.

But the school district isn’t the only taxing entity that’s raised tax burdens. Over the past decade, this same homeowner has paid a 58.3 percent tax increase to the City of Plano, a 48.5 percent tax increase to Collin County Community College, and a 26.6 percent tax increase to Collin County. Compare those figures to the cumulative rate of inflation, at only 16.3 percent.

These tax increases are simply unsustainable, as household incomes are not rising as quickly, and are hammering low and middle-income families the hardest.

Higher property taxes are pricing Texans out of their homes, and are making Texas’ most attractive communities unaffordable.

To find out how much property taxpayers in your school district have paid into the Robin Hood system since 1994, or in any single year since, click HERE.

Ross Kecseg

Ross Kecseg was the president of Texas Scorecard. He passed away in 2020. A native North Texan, he was raised in Denton County. Ross studied Economics at Arizona State University with an emphasis on Public Policy and U.S. Constitutional history. Ross was an avid golfer, automotive enthusiast, and movie/music junkie. He was a loving husband and father.