Comptroller decries discriminatory treatment
Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander called for a halt to discriminatory treatment of Texas taxpayers that is taking $701 million a year out of Texans' pockets and costing the state more than 16,000 jobs.
Rylander urged restoration of Internal Revenue Service state and local sales tax deductions, saying if state and local sales taxes and motor vehicle taxes are deductible on federal income tax returns, an average Texas family of four would see an extra $284 each year in its pocket for the family's priorities.
"Citizens in Texas and eight other states are denied fair and equitable tax treatment because they have no state income tax," Rylander says. "I urge Congress to quickly adopt legislation that will put hard earned money back in the pockets of hard-working Texas families."
Comptroller to review Cedar Hill ISD
Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander announced she will conduct a comprehensive Texas School Performance Review of the Cedar Hill Independent School District.
"I have vowed to be the education watchdog for the people of Texas. Our Texas School Performance Review will examine every facet of the district's operations, from the superintendent's office to the custodian's closet, from the classrooms to the lunchrooms," Rylander says. "If we find programs, procedures or spending that do not contribute to the district's primary mission to educate children and keep them safe, we will drive these dollars back into the classroom where they belong."
Upon completion of the review in August 2002, a report will be distributed to the district and posted on the Comptroller's Web site at www.window.state.tx.us.
Fort Bend ISD making progress
The Texas Comptroller's office reported the Fort Bend Independent School District (FBISD) has implemented or is implementing 90 percent of the recommendations the agency offered in a August 2000 Texas School Performance Review.
"I want to applaud retired FBISD Superintendent Hooper, Interim Superintendent Dr. Betty Baitland and the rest of the administration for not only embracing, but also adopting 81 of the 90 TSPR recommendations," Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander says.
"Because of their leadership and resolve to implement the recommendations despite major organizational transitions within the district, FBISD has realized net savings of $2.1 million. I am also proud that they are reinvesting those savings in much-needed teacher pay raises."
March sales tax rebates delivered
The Comptroller's office delivered $271.3 million in monthly sales tax payments to Texas cities, counties, transit departments and special-purpose taxing districts in March 2002. Sales tax allocations to local governments were down 2.4 percent compared with the $278.2 million paid in March 2001.
Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander sent sales tax rebates of $181.9 million to 1,115 Texas cities, down 1.8 percent compared with March 2001. March rebates of $15.9 million went to 121 Texas counties, up 3.7 percent. Another $66.3 million was paid to six metropolitan transit authorities and two city transit departments, and $7.1 million went to 66 special-purpose taxing districts.
March sales tax rebates include local sales taxes collected in January and reported to the Comptroller in February. The state's share of sales tax collected during this period was $1.2 billion, down 1.5 percent compared with a year ago.