Budget & Taxes

State Taxes

Our quality of life depends on our public structures—including public education, health services, and transportation infrastructure — supported by Texas tax dollars. A good tax system would not only provide adequate revenue to maintain these structures, but would also match the share of taxes paid with the share of income earned by each Texas family.

We need a more equitable system to fund public structures so we can improve and maintain the quality of life for every Texas family.

Equity in Focus

Our state’s tax system is upside down, asking the most from those with the least. In Texas, the wealthiest residents pay an average of 4.3 percent of their income in state and local taxes, compared to 16.7 percent for residents with the lowest incomes. 


One way to judge the fairness of a tax system is to compare the percentage of their income that different households pay in taxes. Texas does not have a fair tax system because households with the lowest incomes pay the highest percentage of their income in taxes; the households with the highest incomes pay the lowest percentage of their income in taxes.

All major Texas taxes put more responsibility on those with the least. The Texas state and local tax system is the second worst offender of the 50 states when it comes to putting more responsibility on those with the least.

The Texas tax system is unfair and inadequate because those who can pay more in taxes as a percentage of income do not pay more. Without a fair and adequate tax system, the state’s ability to invest in schools, public safety, roads, and other public services will continually become more difficult.

Our Staff

Dick Lavine
Dick Lavine

Senior Fiscal Analyst, Invest in Texas

Shannon Halbrook

Senior Fiscal Analyst, Invest in Texas

Samuel Cervantes

Analyst, Data & Policy

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