School Finance Reform May Go To Voters - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/6/05

School Finance Reform May Go To Voters

The school finance reform issue goes back on the table next Tuesday.

That's when Texas state senators will be back in Austin for the 79th legislative session.

Republican Senators Todd Staples of Palestine and Kevin Eltife of Tyler both say a cap on property taxes is needed.

"My goals are to see that we get meaningful property tax relief, which is a minimum of 50-cent property tax cut off the school tax rates, which, on average, are $1.50 in the state," Eltife said.

"It's also important that, as we lower the tax rate, we constitutionally cap that rate so that, in 10 years, 15 years from now, when there happens to be another recession, that we do not end up back at the same level of taxation," Staples said.

The senators agree reform will likely require a constitutional amendment. A decision on that would then go to the voters. They say if property taxes are lowered, school finance will have to draw from other revenue sources.

They also agree teachers need pay raises.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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