Tuesday, July 5, 2005

more texas schools crap

i'll spare you the links but if you go to the local paper and look under legislature (and don't forget to log in using bugmenot's logins), you'll see the latest on the texas school funding nonsense.

as usual, the texas legislature is making a mockery of public good. while some legislators are predicting that the 30-day special session will fail (which wouldn't surprise me -- they haven't been able to unfuck this any time in the last 20 years, what's different this month?), and the ones who aren't doom and gloom are tinkering with the tax code.

so it works like this: property taxes, which affect only those of us who own property, go down. but sales taxes, which affect everyone in the state, go up, by a point. after local taxes are added on, most of the state would pay 9.25% sales tax on most items. new items would become taxable, including such things as car repairs.

the problem is that a hike in sales tax disproprotionately affects lower income residents. that's because someone living at or below subsistence (like me) is likely to spend every penny he makes on taxable items or bare necessities. a sales tax -- essentially a tax on consumption -- targets consumption, but the largest consumption as a percentage of income is done at the bottom of the income ladder.

they want to close loopholes in the texas corporate tax code that allow large companies whose names you'd recognize to avoid paying state corporate income tax, but that won't actually generate enough revenue.

so we'll see.

at the rate they're going, texas schools will close on october 1.

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