"Texas taxpayers will be outraged once they learn that 81 members of their Texas House have taken hostage all future property tax relief until the Legislature authorizes a massive increase in state spending. Ken Paxton, Rob Eissler, and Bryan Hughes are heroes for standing up for the taxpayers in the face of their 81 colleagues who made a mockery of tax relief.

"The effect of the Jim Dunnam amendment to HB 2785 is that the state must spend an additional $4.4 billion per biennium just on school district payroll – even after last year's $3,000 per employee average increase – before any of the money allocated for future tax relief can be used for that purpose.

"With a $14.2 billion surplus, there has never been a better time to return at least some of that money to the people who paid it. The Dunnam amendment now makes that impossible.

"Our research has already shown that we can support the 9-cent property tax cut through 2011 while preserving a $3 billion state balance. However, the bill's original tax relief is now dependent on massive amounts of new spending that would not only exhaust the rest of the current surplus, but would require a tax increase of at least $1 billion next session. Tax relief has never been this expensive."

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