Perry cronies to raid education funds to give to oil industry
Three commissioners appointed by Gov. Rick Perry may grant some of the nation’s largest refineries a tax refund of more than $135 million — money Texas’ cash-strapped schools and other local governments have been counting on to help pay teachers and provide other public services.
The refund would mean more pain for some communities after a year in which state lawmakers had to grapple with a $27 billion shortfall and slashed spending on public schools by more than $4 billion. Nearly half the refund would be taken from public schools, and those in cities where the refineries are based would be hurt the most.[…]
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is evaluating 16 requests for the refund, which concerns a piece of pollution-controlling equipment. If granted, the refund total for those requests could add up to more than $135 million, according to county tax data and application documents analyzed by The Associated Press. What’s more, agency documents show that if the commission grants the requests, at least 12 other refineries that have not sought a refund also could qualify.