Monday, October 10, 2005

Property taxes don't make sense

Funding schools by taxing property simply doesn't make any sense anymore. It made sense when property was the main measure of a person's wealth but now it's one of many and income is far more important.

Here's more evidence from the Boston Globe:

Momentum is growing on Beacon Hill to change the state education funding formula, answering the call of leaders in Ipswich, Rockport, Newburyport and other communities, who think property values are an unfair measure of their school districts' financial needs.

The current formula, which determines a community's funding level by its property tax base, has worked against cities and towns with swiftly rising property values but stagnating incomes, according to many local leaders.

Over the last decade, for instance, property values for single-family homes in Ipswich soared 117 percent, from a median value of $192,600 to $418,700, but the median household income of the town rose just 17 percent, from $52,279 to $61,409.

We have the exact same problem in Texas. If schools are ever to be funded adequately, and if taxpayers are to ever be taxed fairly, school revenues must not be tied as closely to property wealth as they are now.


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