Texas School Security District Act Just Another Tax

January 25, 2013

AUSTIN – A coalition of conservative groups, Americans for Prosperity, Texans for Fiscal Responsbility, and Texas Public Policy Foundation announced their opposition to theTexas School District Security Act.

The recently proposed Texas School District Security Act is an example of well-intentioned legislation that appeals to the emotions of lawmakers and citizens but will prove ineffective.

School shootings are horrendous and every taxpayer wants kids safe in schools.  However, citizens should realize that the proposed legislation is a tax increase that is not going to make their schools safer.

Taxpayers are already paying for security in every city and county across the state.  And, while it may not seem like it due to the massive media attention, statistically, school violence has been declining since its peak in 1993.

Whether the Texas School District Security Act provides for a sales taxing or a property taxing jurisdiction, creation of new special purpose taxing districts will not increase school safety. Instead, it will heap one more tax on hard-working Texans already facing a proliferation of these special purpose districts.

According to Texas Comptroller Susan Combs’ report Taxing Facts, the biggest increase in property taxing entities in the past two decades has been special purpose districts.  We currently have more than 4,000 property taxing entities in Texas.

Special purpose districts (SPD’s) have accounted for 67 percent of the growth in local entities levying sales tax since 1993, comprising 6 percent of these entities in 2002 and 13.1 percent in 2011.

SPD sales tax collections grew by more than 1,700 percent between 1993 and 2011 as the number of SPDs increased from to 193.

Your Money and Local Debt, another Texas Comptroller report, revealed that local government debt has more than doubled from 2001 to 2011, with the biggest percentage of increase in debt in special purpose districts.

Taxing entities are proliferating in Texas.  We don’t need another one to protect our kids.

For further comments, contact Peggy Venable at (512) 423-2947 orpvenable@afptx.org.

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