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MEDIA ADVISORY Austin Leaders Discuss Need for Legislature to Reduce Capture of Local School Property Taxes

AUSTIN, Texas--Area education, business and labor leaders, as well as elected officials, will discuss the need for the Texas Legislature to reduce the $175 million the state willcapture of local school property taxes.

 Participants will include:
  • Vincent Torres, president of AISD's Board of Trustees;
  • Dr. Paul Cruz, AISD interim superintendent;
  • David Reiter, education chair of the Austin Chamber and vice president of Luminex Corp.;
  • Ken Zarifis, president of Education Austin;
  • The Hon. Donna Howard, state representative;
  • The Hon. Paul Workman, state representative; and
  • The Hon. Eddie Rodriguez, state representative.
When: 5:15-5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26
Where: AISD Board Room, 1111 E. 6th St.
Why: We acknowledge the importance of Texas supporting every Texas child. Austin plays an important role in that. AISD and the State of Texas cannot forget that while AISD is considered a property wealthy district, simultaneously 62 percent or 53,000 of our student enrollment is on free and reduced price lunch. The state must recognize this disparity and provide the appropriate funding to address this unique challenge. For the FY2015 budget, AISD taxpayers will have $175 million captured by the state. This is equivalent to:
  • Building a brand new high school every year;
  • Approximately $2,000 per AISD student; and
  • 22 percent cut on the operations portion of the AISD tax rate.
Since 2002, AISD taxpayers have sent $1.66 billion to the state treasury. This is not earmarked to education, but instead to general revenue. In 2018, if state law is not changed, AISD taxpayers will send more than $300 million to the state treasury.
Additional statistics:
  • AISD has nearly 86,000 students.
  • About 63 percent or 53,000 of AISD's students are on some form of price-supported lunch.
  • Roughly one-third of AISD students are learning English.
  • Austin homeowners face the highest median home price of any Texas Metro region.
  • Austin renters face the highest median rent of any Texas Metro region.
For more information, please contact Jessica Melton, public relations manager at the Austin Chamber, at or (205) 601-5198).