What is a structural deficit? The Texas Tribune (Tripedia: 2011 Budget Shortfall) describes it this way:
“Some budget watchers say lawmakers created a ‘structural’ deficit’ in 2005, when lawmakers cut school property taxes by one-third and expanded the business tax to make up the difference. But the business tax brings in billions less each year than the property tax did … The structure of the revenue system creates deficits each year.”
Abby Rapoport (The Structural Deficit Theme) puts it this way, “For those who don’t speak budget-nerd, the term refers to a budget that can’t add up – where income can’t cover costs.”
Who gave birth to this Frankenstein? The Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) documents its beginning for public school education funding:
“In 2006, the state made its structural deficit worse by pledging to pay for a local property tax cut. While the state increased other tax revenue to offset the cost, the state never anticipated covering more than 60 percent of the cost, and it ended up covering less than 40 percent.”
Frankenstein will live forever under the present system. State Representative Aaron Pena has said, “… the massive state budget shortfall is going to occur again and again in future years due to a structural deficit in Texas’ tax system,” (Steve Taylor, Print Works).
Frankenstein is alive. This budgetary creature has its enormous hands on the throat of public education.
We are choking.