The school financing plan adopted by the Texas Legislature in 2006 that was designed to cut school taxes by $7 billion over two years really did work, according to a new report, despite the fact that Texans are paying $1.7 billion more in total property taxes than they did in 2005.

HB 1 of the 2006 Legislature required school districts to reduce their maintenance and operations tax rate — which had been capped at $1.50 per $100 of assessed valuation — by a third over two years. To compensate the districts for a revenue loss estimated at $2.5 billion a year, lawmakers revised the business tax, increased the tax on cigarettes, and promised to allocate surplus state revenues to a property tax relief fund.

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