Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Rick Perry Says School Funding Plans Must Protect Job Climate

Tuesday, May 04, 2004  •  Press Release

CORPUS CHRISTI - Gov. Rick Perry today said any school funding plan adopted by the legislature must protect job creation in Texas.

"The only permanent solution to school finance is job creation. That's why I cannot support placing a higher tax burden on Texas workers and their wages," Perry said during a news conference at Unique Employment Services.

"As I have said on many occasions for many months, we cannot succeed in funding our schools and reducing property taxes if those goals are achieved at the expense of Texans' jobs. That is too high of a price to pay. Though new ideas for finding revenue come and go with each passing day, we must never waver in our commitment to stopping any taxing idea that will lead to the elimination and exodus of Texans' jobs and will greatly hamper our state's ability to attract new employers in the future."

Perry applauded Speaker Tom Craddick for indicating that the payroll tax would be eliminated from the House bill. If a payroll tax were imposed, Perry said it would force many employers who operate on a small margin or are labor-intensive businesses to face difficult choices of laying off employees, reducing health care and other benefits, losing jobs to other states, or even closing down.

"I have offered legislators a plan that not only protects Texans' pocketbooks but their jobs, too," Perry said. "It's a plan that increases funding for education by $2.5 billion, reduces property taxes initially by $3.2 billion, and funds schools more equitably than the current system today.

"We need a property tax cut that isn't financed on the backs of Texas workers, and at the expense of their jobs."

Perry added that the 68,000 new net jobs added in Texas over the past six months show that the Texas economy is moving in the right direction.

The legislature, he added, can provide additional property tax savings fueled by economic growth without adopting tax policies that constitute an economic u-turn.

"We still have a lot of work to do on the details, and the only plan that matters is the one that reaches my desk," Perry said. "But I believe progress is being made."

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