Guest Blog: A State Budget that Puts Texas First
January 12, 2015
In 2015, state leaders will have an opportunity to make meaningful investments in health and social services, education, transportation, and other services strained by Texas’ rapid growth. This will only be possible, however, if legislators can resist calls for short-sighted tax cuts. New tax cuts would not only make it harder to meet today’s needs, but also undermine the long-term sustainability of our state revenue system.
When we’re bombarded by anti-tax rhetoric, it can be easy to forget that the taxes we pay support the services Texas businesses and families depend on each day. From hospitals and roads to schools and libraries, taxes play a big part in determining our quality of life. When you take into account that many state agencies from the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) to the Texas Department of Transportation are unable to keep up with the growing demand for services at current levels of funding, the idea of new tax giveaways seems even less responsible.
Lawmakers face a simple choice in the upcoming legislative session: write a budget that puts health care, schools, and our future prosperity first - or once again prioritize shortsighted tax giveaways that leave us unable to make necessary investments in the people of Texas.
You don’t have to be a fiscal analyst to be part of the budget process, but for those who would like a better understanding of our state budget and tax system, Texas Forward’s Talk Taxes webinar series has you covered. The series will also provide strategies for talking about the impact of state spending decisions on your everyday life.
Mia Ibarra coordinates Texas Forward, a state-wide revenue coalition, and supports outreach and civic engagement activities at the Center for Public Policy Priorities. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in political economy from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and is completing her master’s degree in public affairs at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.
About Texas Forward
Texas Forward is a coalition of over 60 organizations from around the state that believe meeting the needs of Texans and moving our state forward to greater prosperity and opportunity will require more than just belt-tightening and cuts in education, healthcare and other vital public services. We need an equitable, adequate revenue system to support strong public investments and improve quality of life and access to opportunity for all.