Public school finance and property tax reform emerged as top priority issues for the 2019 Texas legislative session. These topics are the focus of a survey conducted by the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs. The survey found there is strong support for increasing the state’s share of funding for public schools and support for increasing or implementing several targeted taxes to pay for it. A substantial majority of Texans believe property taxes are high and support revenue caps.
The survey was conducted online between March 21 and April 1, 2019 among Texas registered voters. Respondents matched on demographics and characteristics to the population of registered voters of Texas. The number of respondents was 1,000 with a margin of sampling error of +/-3.7%.
Read the report.
· Four out of five Texans believe that the State of Texas should provide either more than 50% (40%) or around 50% (41%) of funding for Texas public schools.
· Two-thirds of registered voters in Texas identified raising salaries by $5,000 for classroom teachers and librarians as either a high priority (33%) or a priority (33%).
· Forty percent of Texas registered voters believe that the state should make eliminating the recapture provision in the Robin Hood plan a priority.
· Roughly seven in ten Texans believe that funding school safety is a very high (26%) or high (43%) priority.
· Sixty-two percent of respondents rated increasing spending for early childhood education programs and kindergarten for all as a very high or high priority.
· Seventy-six percent of registered voters in Texas oppose the adoption of a state income tax.
· Three-quarters of Texas registered voters (75%) support closing corporate appraisal loopholes.
· Sixty-eight percent of Texans support increasing the tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products, followed by legalizing and taxing casino gambling (62%), legalizing and taxing the sale of recreational marijuana (61%), and increasing the tax on beer, wine and other alcohol (56%).
· More than two-thirds (68%) of Texas registered voters believe property taxes in Texas are very high (31%) or high (37%).
· Seventy-eight percent and 77% support legislation establishing a 2.5% and 5.0% revenue cap respectively.
Survey Figures and Tables
Houston Chronicle Op-Ed
Pablo Pinto, director, Center for Public Policy and associate professor of public policy
Mark P. Jones, James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy's fellow in political science, Rice University
Leonardo Antenangeli, post-doctoral research fellow
Renée Cross, senior director and researcher
Jim Granato, executive director and professor of public policy
Cong Huang, post-doctoral research fellow
Ulkar Imamverdiyeva, pre-doctoral research fellow
Richard Murray, senior research fellow and professor of political science
Savannah Sipole, post-doctoral research fellow
Agustín Vallejo, post-doctoral research fellow
Isaiah Warner, program manager and researcher
Sunny Wong, professor of public policy