Senator Ogden on School Finance Ruling

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The school finance issue has been looming over Texas lawmakers for the past 2 decades and Tuesday the Texas Supreme Court issued a ruling.

The Texas Supreme Court issued a ruling on school finance this morning. In a vote of 7 to 1 justices agreed with one of the arguments made against the state by hundreds of school districts.

The court ruled that the current Robin Hood or share the wealth tax system is unconstitutional. Justices cited that using local property taxes to pay for public schools amounts to an unconstitutional statewide tax.

Money for the $30 billion school system comes primarily from property taxes and franchise tax. Justices, however, found that over-all school funding is adequate

State legislatures have until June 1st to fix the system. Senator Steve Ogden says he expected the ruling and is confident legislators can come up with a solution.

" We've got to do an overhaul of the state's business tax. We've got to make the sales tax more efficient and I think we've got to ask the voters of Texas to authorize the legislature to levy a statewide property tax at a level that's substantially lower than the current rate," said Ogden.

Governor Rick Perry issued a statement saying the decision is an important victory for Texas school children and property taxpayers. He has appointed a Tax Reform Commission to develop recommendations before lawmakers meet in the Spring.