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February 11th, 2018 Luke Macias
(210) 259-5053


COLLEYVILLE, TX –Today, Senator Konni Burton joined together with her fellow sena-
tors from Tarrant County to release a joint statement regarding Judge Whitley’s recent
State of the County speech. Their statement is as follows:

To the Editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley tells a bold-faced lie about the state budget and lo-
cal property taxes and is hailed as a "truth teller" by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram?

Let's set the record straight. Local property tax rates are set by locally elected offi-
cials. Period. They are not determined by an informational rider in the state budget as
Judge Whitley dishonestly suggests. He well knows our school finance formula dictates
that local property tax revenue go into the system first, with state funding added on
top. This has been the case since the 1940s. Local property tax collections dictate the
state’s share of education funding – not vice versa.

TEA Rider 3 lists the Comptroller estimates for local property tax collections. Actual col-
lections are determined at the local level, and the formula is trued up at the end of each
budget cycle. This estimate is a projection, not a target. And by no means is it a di-
rective for local governments to raise property taxes. Judge Whitley knows this. His
speech was not "unplugged." It was uninformed at best and willfully misleading at

When one considers all funding sources, our current budget increased education fund-
ing by $5.2 billion. Whether at the state or local level, Texas taxpayers are footing this
We care about our children’s education. We are concerned about rising property taxes.
We would hope that state and local elected officials would work together to ensure that
our children all receive a quality education and that Texans are not taxed out of their
homes in the process.

The Texas Commission on School Finance is actively conducting an in-depth review of
our school finance formulas to ensure that we have an equitable education system that
prepares our students for success. The musings of a county judge with zero responsi-
bility over public education are not going to help us get there.


The Tarrant County Texas Senate Delegation
Senator Jane Nelson, Chair, Senate Finance Committee
Senator Kelly Hancock, Chair, Senate Business and Commerce Committee
Senator Brian Birdwell, Chair, Senate Nominations Committee
Senator Konni Burton, Vice Chair, Senate Administration Committee