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Rep. Landgraf introduces bill to combat recapture system, keep funding in Permian schools

House Bill 1077 has been filed by State Representative Brooks Landgraf in order to lessen the impact of the Recapture System, also known as the “Robin Hood” law, in West Texas.
Chairs in West Texas school.
Chairs in West Texas school.(Lauren Bostwick)
Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 6:06 PM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - For years some Permian Basin school districts have come out on the losing end of Texas’ recapture system, which is the way the state pays for the school system.

House Bill 1077 has been filed by State Representative, Brooks Landgraf, in order to lessen the impact of the Recapture System, also known as the “Robin Hood” law, in West Texas.

In Texas, the “Robin Hood” system takes tax dollars from property-wealthy school districts and distributes that money across the state.

However, unlike other wealthy suburbs, oil patch schools in the Permian Basin are considered “minerally wealthy”; therefore, see surges and dips due to the oil economy.

Representative Landgraf says the system does not take all financial aspects of a district into account, “the problem is that not all school districts, even those that are considered to be wealthy, are the same. For example, in some Texas suburbs you have school districts that are dotted with really nice homes and very expensive commercial properties and they generate lots of property taxes all year, every year. Now contrast that to school districts here in the Permian Basin and throughout West Texas, where we are capable of producing a lot of property taxes when we are in the middle of an oil boom but when we’re not, it’s a different story.”

Because of the boom and bust cycle, property taxes can be different year to year. This Bill hopes to lower the percentage of those taxes that are sent back to the state.

Representative Landgraf states, “so the bill that I have offered in the Texas House of Representatives better accounts for the difference in the so-called wealthy school districts, because I want to make sure that the Permian Basin school districts and our students aren’t getting stuck with a Robin Hood bill that we just can’t afford.”

Representative Landgraf is hopeful to have this bill passed in the next few months, so West Texas schools can benefit from it as early as this coming Fall.

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