Robin Hood Has Day in Court: Verdict Out on Texas School Law

Albanese, Elizabeth
March 2003
Bond Buyer;3/28/2003, Vol. 343 Issue 31803, p1
Trade Publication
The Texas Supreme Court has a number of options after hearing arguments in a lawsuit filed against the state by four school districts that allege the school-finance law contains a provision that constitutes an illegal state ad valorem tax. According to Chip Orr, former state Supreme Court clerk, the court historically has returned decisions in two months to three years. The petitioners asked the Supreme Court to allow their case to go back to trial at the district court level because a number of factors in a decision made two years ago by former district court Judge Scott McCown have changed. The lawsuit maintains that a legislatively mandated tax cap of 1.50 dollars per 100 dollars of assessed valuation is tantamount to a state property tax because it deprives local districts of setting their own discretionary tax rates. Texas law forbids state taxes without a vote of the people.


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