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Feb 13

Written by: egblogger
2/13/2013 10:44 AM  RssIcon

Although the majority of the attention of Judge John Dietz’s ruling on the School Finance Lawsuit revolves around the inadequate funding by the legislators for schools, an overlooked (but equally important in our opinion) ruling is that the state legislators have created a “de facto” statewide property tax.  According to Texas Constitution §1-a, the state of Texas is not allowed to levy a state ad valorem (property) tax.  By ruling that the current system creates a “de facto” statewide property tax, Judge Dietz may have laid the foundation for a substantial change to the Tax Code going forward for Texas.


Judge Dietz ruled that since many school districts have already reached their tax rate limit of $1.17 per $100 of property value, these districts have already lost “meaningful discretion” in the amount of money they are entitled to raise for their schools.  Accordingly, the decision claims that the state legislators have underfunded schools, but have also overly restricted the ability of schools to raise enough money to offset the costs.


As always, we will continue to monitor this opinion and the appeals that are sure to go along with them.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.


Estes & Gandhi, P.C.

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