Thursday, November 17, 2005

John Sharp Says Education Ruling Tomorrow

SCUTTLEBUTT:
Education ruling expected Friday

There's been a lot of speculation about when the Texas Supreme Court might rule on the constitutionality of the school funding system.

Texas Tax Reform Commission Chairman John Sharp, speaking at an economic development summit Wednesday in Nacogdoches, said he had the inside scoop.

"I think they're going to do it on Friday," Sharp told a crowd of East Texans gathered at Stephen F. Austin State University. "I know this because there is a kid who works for me whose sister dates a guy who is the media press representative for the Supreme Court," Sharp said with a chuckle. "I'm serious."

Apparently, the sister and the media representative had previously planned a trip to Hawaii this weekend, but they had to cancel because the media representative said he would "have to be around" to respond to questions.

Sharp said there is probably only one issue before the Supreme Court that warrants cancellation of a Hawaiian vacation.

And the expected ruling on the decision, Sharp said, is that the court will say that the school funding method is unconstitutional because it is essentially a statewide property tax.
Only time will tell.

[UPDATE] There's more on this story from The Daily Sentinel of Nacogdoches, Sharp: School-funding question likely decided Friday, via Pinkdome. The first part is mostly a rehash of what I posted above from the Statesman but after that they start talking about the fact that if they uphold the property tax as an illegal state tax part of the ruling - remember most media never mentions the part of the ruling about schools being underfunded - there will be a deadline set, more than likely September '07 but maybe September '06. Then John Sharp did something strange, he talked about a state income tax:
One possible solution, Sharp said, is a personal income tax.

Perry told Sharp up-front that an income tax is not an option, and Sharp said he agrees, adding he believed that an income tax is the wrong thing to do for the state of Texas, because it unfairly targets the middle class, and every great free-market system is based on a strong middle class.

"So an income tax is off the table," he said. "But only if we succeed."

If the Texas Tax Reform Commission and the Texas Legislature do not reach a viable solution before the anticipated Supreme Court deadline, Sharp said, a state income tax may be the only alternative to keep public schools open.
I don't agree with the fact that this tax would be a burden on the middle class but it looks like he's going to use a state income tax a tool to get everyone on board with some sort of business tax, or else. Face it, if a state income tax was a burden on the middle class the Republicans would have instituted it a long time ago.

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