School Finance: Taxes Take Center Stage

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Lawmakers in Austin continue to work on a fix for the state's school finance system. The Republican-led House will start tackling the question of taxes in a number of proposals today.

The suspense lies in which avenue the House will take, and whether enough Republicans will support Governor Rick Perry's preferred plan. GOP Speaker Tom Craddick says signs are positive for passage of a new tax proposal.

Perry's tax plan calls for closing loopholes and restructuring the state's business tax while reducing school property taxes by six (B) billion dollars. It also would increase the cigarette tax by $1 per pack and use some money from the state budget surplus.

Perry convened the Legislature for a 30-day special session to repair the state's unconstitutional school property tax system.

The Texas Supreme Court has set a June First deadline to get it done.