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Texas School Funding Ruled Unconstitutional

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posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 10:10 AM
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The Texas state constitution forbids a state tax, but that's what current school funding amounts to. Basically everyone pays $1.50 per $100 of property value every year towards school funding. They would charge us more no doubt if there wasn't a cap on what they could take from our pockets. Personally I actually pay more than this amount. Since the district I'm in is building new schools they can charge even more. My current tax bill claims I owe almost $4,000 this year for the distirct school tax. This is quite a bit above $1.50 per $100 and above and beyond any city and county property taxes for land. O how I love paying the 1.864% property tax. (Cap! What cap?)

Currently to get around this cap(in addition to new construction claims), counties keep creeping up the apprasial amount of homes. I have one neighbor who just purchased his house for $145,000 only to find that it was "appraised" at $198,000. That's the way the district tries to sneak past the property tax rate cap. They just claim your house is worth more.


Texas property-tax cap ruled unconstitutional



AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court declared the state's school finance system unconstitutional Tuesday because school boards lack control over the tax rates they set, handing a partial victory to school districts and prompting what could be major changes to Texas' tax structure.

Under the current school finance system, districts cannot set tax rates to maintain and operate existing schools higher than $1.50 per $100 in property value. They can exceed that cap to pay for construction.

Because of a lack of state funding to balance out the local dollars, school districts argued that they have had little choice but to tax at or near the $1.50 cap, robbing them of the tax-setting discretion that prior court decisions have said they must have.




posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 02:54 PM
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I feel your pain man. I am suffering something similar in Colorado. Maybe it would not sting me so much if when these types of things are put on the ballet I could actually VOTE on them. I own property here but am not allowed to vote because I am miltary and holding onto my other residency. they just pased several more measures this month adding to my tax costs.

Here they also tacked on huge fees to any building permits- nearly anything at your house almost down to the level of planting flower bulbs requires one. Need a new garbage disposal?- unless you sneak it in on your own- pay up. Move your mail box to the other side of your driveway? Pay up. I am waiting for the permit police to come bust me for hanging shelves in the garage.

Luckily though (ironicly) the county assessor keeps lowering my property value because my First home is also under consideration for eminent domain snatching to hand it over to a FOR PROFIT private company.



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 03:17 PM
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Originally posted by launchpad
Luckily though (ironicly) the county assessor keeps lowering my property value because my First home is also under consideration for eminent domain snatching to hand it over to a FOR PROFIT private company.


Man! Talk about kicking someone when they are down. That's just a rotten bit of luck. Not that you ever have good luck when you cross paths with the tax man, but this is just worse than ususal. It would be interesting to see a graph of the property value alonside the timeline of the proposal to sell the property around you.

We have an election this next year so hopefully we'll be able to get someone to make some empty promises to lower our taxes.



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 05:12 PM
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You know i would like to see one as well. I have only been in the house a year but i do have at least one more assessment from the previous owner. Only 3 data points and the house is less than 9 years old- as well as most of the neighborhood.

My house was the only one on the market when i bought it but I can say when the news hit- approx 3 months after closing the entire 'neighborhood' went up for sale. (all lots are 2.5-5 acres and very rural) i bet you can get a place for a lot less than i paid but you might just lose most of that as well if/when the toll road comes through. If the road project gets yanked or locates further East you migh make a huge bundle too. hmmm

Tis par for the course for me though- the people that know me say if i did not have bad luck i just wouldn't have any. They won't ride on the same boat or plane with me, etc, etc. [wahahahaha]


But we were talking taxes - i have yet to see what the new measures are going to cost me- short or long term- but they have gotten so bad around here they now have a "Seniors tax work off program" for the elderly that basically pay them minimum wage for odd jobs (secritarial work at schools- or picking up trash, etc) so they can pay the property tax on otherwise fully paid off homes. sick, very sick considering these folks obviously do not still have kids in the schools- so why are they having to pay?

I guess it all comes down to the nature of government- a slight deviation on the old cliche: give'em a dollar they'll take a $100. (and then still be in debt because they wasted it)

i always dreamed of living in Colorado until i got here- now i can't wait to leave and never return.



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 09:33 PM
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Yeah, I was recently considering purchasing investment property in either Bryan or College Station, TX. That's the home to Texas A&M University. I am not from Texas. I just found out that property taxes for Bryan are 2.88% and in College Station are 2.55%. Needless to say, I have to rethink that strategy. The investment isn't nearly as attractive now.



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 08:57 PM
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Originally posted by dbates
My current tax bill claims I owe almost $4,000 this year for the distirct school tax. This is quite a bit above $1.50 per $100 and above and beyond any city and county property taxes for land. O how I love paying the 1.864% property tax. (Cap! What cap?)

Currently to get around this cap(in addition to new construction claims), counties keep creeping up the apprasial amount of homes. I have one neighbor who just purchased his house for $145,000 only to find that it was "appraised" at $198,000. That's the way the district tries to sneak past the property tax rate cap. They just claim your house is worth more.



Are you saying you pay $4000 per year PLUS your other city and county tax obligations, like police and fire


I don't know if this is what you are talking about, but here in Michigan, we have two home values, the taxable value, which is capped by Headlee. and the accessed value, the State Equalized Value.
The longer you live in your home, the bigger the difference between taxable value and accessed value.
Most people don't realize when they purchase their home--the new owners won't be paying what the old owner pays.
When title is transferred, the taxable value goes up and equals the accessed value.



posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 08:37 PM
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Originally posted by DontTreadOnMe
Most people don't realize when they purchase their home--the new owners won't be paying what the old owner pays.
When title is transferred, the taxable value goes up and equals the accessed value.



True - but this says nothing about increased leves and such added in to support some measure- usually school funding even if you don't have kids in the school system.

More accurately: you do not pay taxes BASED on the same value as the previous owner. Taxes can go up anyday.

Increased taxes and leves are passed all the time- hence the reason Colorado has the senior tax work off program- costs keep going up for these folks on fixed incomes- so even if they had investments to cover the costs initially, many of these folks are in jeopardy of losing homes that they own outright to the tax man for additional taxes assessed to pay for schools where these same folks do not have any kids.



posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 09:24 PM
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Originally posted by DontTreadOnMe
Are you saying you pay $4000 per year PLUS your other city and county tax obligations, like police and fire



Yep, the $4000 extra is for school taxes alone. That's the kicker of this whole story. You'd think the schools were gold-plated the way they charge us. The other taxes aren't that bad at all and I don't mind those.

They evaluate your property once a year to determine what the taxes are for the coming up year. We often joke and say if we knew what day the tax appraiser was coming by we'd throw mud on the house and put old cars in the front yard. They can raise the appraised value of your home every year if they want to, and they usually do. Of course the more your home is worth, the more you'll pay in taxes.



posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 10:19 PM
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In some places taxes are getting into the cost of private schools- for everyone- if you have children or not. So where does the money disappear to if only about 30% of the housing actually have children in school?

Money raised per child attending school is WAY in excess of that of most good private schools that do not recieve goverment funding-but still provide usually better educations.

Could this just be a conspiracy? Funding black projects with the "extra dough"? (just kidding but it does show the incompetence of elected officials)



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