Sunday, August 21, 2005

GOP cedes Robin Hood Metro | State: "When Republicans secured their dominance of the statehouse nearly three years ago, they painted a target on the Robin Hood school funding system that requires property-rich school districts to share with the poor.

Two regular sessions, three school-finance special sessions and one court ruling later, Robin Hood lives — the beneficiary in large part of GOP infighting over how to raise the state taxes needed to change the system's reliance on local school property taxes.

'When everything was said and done, there was more said than done,' said Rep. David Swinford, R-Dumas, at the center of the battle to raise billions in state taxes to lower local school property taxes.

'It's all about money. It's hard to make the deal run when you're not robbing those rich folks like Robin,' he said.

Just having House and Senate majorities and the key to the Governor's Mansion is a far cry from holding together lawmakers in the traditionally tax-shy party, especially on an issue like school finance that lawmakers have noted turns more on local concerns than party lines.

'We do have a majority of folks who are like-minded,' said Rep. Frank Corte, R-San Antonio. 'When it comes to school finance, it's a little more problematic than that.'"


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