Schools, or tax breaks for oil companies?

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According to the Associated Press, “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 article mentions that Valero, one of the country’s top oil companies, is seeking a tax refund. Valero’s original request for the refund was denied, but they appealed the decision and the commission is once again looking into it. If the refunds are approved, “schools alone could be forced to fork over $62.8 million.”

Valero isn’t just a big oil company—it’s also a big donor to Gov. Perry’s campaigns.

Gov. Perry has received at least $147,895 from Valero, its political action committee, and employees since 2004, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. He is the second largest recipient of Valero money nationwide, second only to Texas’s Attorney General.

Since Perry entered the race this summer, we’ve seen countless stories about Perry’s favors for campaign donors. As the Washington Post reported in August, Perry is facing, “mounting criticism that his administration has rewarded large donors with favors that have enhanced their personal and business interests.”

Concerned parents said they plan to hold fundraisers to pay for the possible cuts.

“We pay taxes every day. Small businesses pay taxes,” said Patricia Gonzales, a mother of 13 year old twins. “Why should big corporations get breaks?"

It's a good question.