From 2000 to 2010, per capita taxes in Texas, including property taxes, grew slightly faster than inflation (see attached). The Consumer Price Index rose from 170.7 to 216.2, or 27%. Per capita taxes grew from $2,180 to $2,993, or 37%. Over the decade, real per capita taxes rose slightly from $2,180 to $2,195.

Selection of the endpoint year for this kind of calculation can have a major impact on what the data appears to show. 2009 and 2010 were part of the steepest economic decline in decades, and so their inclusion can throw off the calculation if not kept in context. For example, if the endpoint year for the analysis had been 2008 rather than 2010, the growth in per capita taxes would have computed to 43% rather than 37%. That is, the recession reduced tax collections from 2008 to 2010, though population and inflation were still positive over that span.

Even so, the tax system has produced a stable, if unremarkable, amount of revenue per capita even adjusted for inflation. See chart in the attached. A linear fit of the data produces a nearly perfectly flat line, sloping slightly upward, even including 2009 and 2010, slightly exceeding both inflation and population over time.

JAN. 25, 2011:

Property tax is the largest, but if you pulled it out, sales tax would the

largest. Excluding property tax would give a different result, as would

picking a different end-year. Real state taxes collections per capita were

flat-to-rising through 2008, then fell off with the economy in 2009 and

2010. Real per capita property taxes rose more steadily, finishing the

decade 20% up, though through 2008, they had been up only up 11%.

Real state per capita taxes had risen 5% through 2008, then fell off,

finishing the decade at -15%.

The tax data, population, and CPI are from the Comptroller's office.

Combined, real per capita taxes rose 8% through 2008, and 1% through 2010.