Politics

UH Hobby Survey: Raise Sin Taxes To Pay For Public Schools

The study found large majorities of Texans favor hiking taxes on tobacco products and alcohol to increase state funding for education.

A new survey found Texas voters overwhelmingly want to increase state money for public schools, but a majority also oppose raising sales taxes to offset any cuts to property taxes. So what funding solutions do Texans support?

According to the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs, most Texans favor an increase in so-called sin taxes to pay for public education.

“Almost 70 percent support increasing taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products, and about 60 percent support increased sales taxes on beer, wine and other alcohol,” said Jim Granato, the Hobby School’s executive director.

Residents also favor raising taxes on oil and gas extraction — and there was one big surprise.

“About three out of five Texans support legalization and taxing of casino gambling, and almost the same percent support legalizing and taxing recreational sale of marijuana,” Granato said.

But respondents rejected the idea of instituting a state income tax by three-to-one.

State lawmakers are trying to figure out how to fund public education, while capping property taxes.

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Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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