A candidate for state representative is actually calling for property tax increases as part of her general election strategy. She apparently hasn’t being paying attention.
Sandra Phuong VuLe, the Democratic Party’s candidate for Texas House District 112, told the Dallas Morning News over the weekend that she would “let school districts increase property taxes far beyond the current cap.”
She also told the newspaper she wants to tax business profits and “supports raising sales taxes beyond the current statewide cap” — so she can in turn fund much bigger spending.
In a debate with Republican Angie Chen Button before the Richardson league of Women Voters, VuLu said she wanted to raise the school property tax rate. In 2006, the Legislature cut the rate from $1.50 to $1, but allowed school districts to raise it back up (eventually) to $1.17. Well, VuLu said she wants to reduce the reduction, and bring the rate to $1.30 or $1.40. You can suffer through the debate at Google video. VuLu’s property tax proposal comes up at the 42-minute mark.
Such policy positions may be many things, but grounded in economic reality it is not. Property tax burdens have soared out of control, with school districts making up the bulk of those taxes.
And her prescription for hiking the sales tax to fund more mass transit boondogles flies in the face of experience. The Dallas mass transit agency recently misaccounted for $1 billion.
Ms. VuLe should focus on getting government leaner and more efficient with the dollars they already take. But don’t count on it.