Thursday, September 22, 2005

A smart move

After failing five times in two years to develop a fair and equitable tax system to finance public education, Gov. Rick Perry has now done the smartest thing he has ever done during his entire administration - he has appointed former Texas Comptroller John Sharp to chair a committee to find a bipartisan approach for fixing the current system.

Perry and Sharp agreed that a bipartisan approach is necessary to fix the current system, which has been found unconstitutional by a state district judge.

John Sharp, or The Man Who Should Have Been Governor, is perhaps the last best hope Texas has to getting out of this school financing mess. Unfortunately, it looks like he may have allowed the new committee to be cut off at the knees before it even gets started by agreeing to leave the possibility of a state income tax off the table.

Both Perry and Sharp said that any effort to reduce the state's heavy reliance on property taxes to fund public education would not include an income tax.

OK, maybe that is politically necessary for them to say that at this time. But after the new committee has flopped around for awhile it will come to the conclusion that they can’t make the money magically appear by wiggling their noses or waving a wand in the air. At that point they will have no choice but to look at where the money is and actually consider a state income tax just like nearly every other state in the U.S. Then it will be imperative on Perry to consider their recommendation and hopefully do something to enact it.

Of course, as Burnt Orange Report has noted, this means that Sharp is not going to be running for governor next year as I had hoped.

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