Property tax rates are spiking, and the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation has a plan to give relief to homeowners. Economist Vance Ginn told a legislative hearing this week that the high valuations we’re seeing are due to excessive government spending at the local level. Texas is expecting between a $12 and $15-billion surplus. Oil prices, which are sitting at $100 a barrel, will bring in more cash, too. Ginn also suggests that the state take over more of the public school maintenance budget to cut down on taxes.