Author Topic: The Texas Minute March 5, 2019  (Read 66 times)

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Offline Elderberry

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The Texas Minute March 5, 2019
« on: March 05, 2019, 07:49:17 AM »
Good morning –

We’ve arrived at the stage of Trump Derangement Syndrome where if President Trump sneezes The New York Times and Washington Post will call him a liar, followed by Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez convening a hearing to accuse him of colluding with Big Tissue to destroy the environment.

Here is today's Texas Minute.

https://texasscorecard.com/

– Michael Quinn Sullivan

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

    There are 83 days remaining in Texas' 140-day legislative session, and there has been no movement yet in providing actual property tax relief for taxpayers. Lots of activity (mostly in the Senate) these last 57 days on legislation growing government and spending more money, but nary a peep about relief.
         
    Today, House and Senate members are expected to finally unveil their school finance packages, both of which will reportedly include some amount of property tax relief.
         
    The Senate is putting nearly $7 billion in new education spending – including $3.9 billion for teacher pay raises – but have budgeted only $2.3 billion in property tax relief.
         
    In other words, the Texas Senate is proposing to increase education spending by three times the amount they’re proposing for tax relief. What Republicans campaigned on higher spending and bigger government? Was that how you voted in November?
         
    Republicans are rightly worried about the 2020 elections; rather than just talking the “pro-taxpayer” talk, they should get busy providing relief. Texas taxpayers deserve significant and substantial relief.

    Have your legislators – Carol Alvarado and Garnet Coleman – heard from you?
       
    The Texas Senate voted unanimously yesterday afternoon to spend $3.9 billion on pay raises for teachers. Brandon Waltens reports the spending program – intended now to be an ongoing expense of state government – was amended to include school librarians. The measure, the first legislation to pass the Senate in 2019, did not include any property tax relief.
       
    A north Texas “educrat” went to Austin last week to defend school districts using taxpayer money to hire lobbyists rather than educate kids. Erin Anderson reports Grapevine-Colleyville ISD board trustee Becky St. John sees no problem with government entities hiring lobbyists to oppose taxpayers’ interests.
         
    Taxpayer Christine Lanton writes in a commentary about the experience she and her husband had waiting (unsuccessfully) to testify before the Texas House Committee on Ways and Means last week on property tax reform. She describes how Committee Chairman Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock) let lobbyists and local officials working on the taxpayers’ dime to tank property tax reform go first, while taxpaying citizens were forced to wait for hours.
       
    “I have never felt so disrespected by my legislators... And how is it right for my city to use taxpayer-funded lobbyists to come here and speak against me? When will our representative government start representing the people instead of special interest? We elected you to work for us. We expect you to protect us from the government bureaucracy, not help them use me as a human ATM.” – Christine Lanton
         
    That frustration was shared by Fran Rhodes of the NE Tarrant TEA Party. She wrote an open letter to Rep. Burrows: “Allowing 30 to 40 minutes for a single testimony of mayors, city council people, and county commissioners whose time and travel are paid by taxpayer money while citizens and taxpayers—on their own time and who pay their own expenses—wait for SEVEN HOURS is just not acceptable... We don’t mind staying late if the time is managed so that everyone has an equal opportunity.”
         
    Unwilling to protect taxpayers, a coalition of mayors have doubled down on their opposition to lowering the property tax “rollback rate” to 2.5 percent. Destin Sensky reports the mayors are from Amarillo, Austin, Burleson, Cedar Hill, Conroe, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Denton, El Paso, Fort Worth, Galveston, Garland, Grand Prairie, Houston, Irving, Lubbock, McKinney, Pflugerville, Plano, Richardson, Round Rock, San Antonio, Southlake, and Sugar Land. These cities’ mayors do not want to shield Texans from skyrocketing property taxes.   

    Why do mayors distrust their fellow Texans? Austin’s left-wing mayor, Steve Adler, said last week that it’s “not appropriate” to trust voters with more power over property tax burdens. Jacob Asmussen has the details.
             
    Former Dallas City Council member Carolyn Davis pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges in a public corruption case involving low-income housing. Erin Anderson writes that given the recurring public corruption within city hall, Dallas voters should choose carefully during the May 4 election.
         
    The Trinity River Water District has long been associated with secrecy and burning taxpayer money on the Panther Island boondoggle, a tax-funded real estate development project in Fort Worth that has cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars with nothing to show for it rather than investing in core services. Now, reports Robert Montoya, two candidates are running for the board to bring greater public scrutiny to those issues.

Tomorrow morning I’ll be attending the dawn commemoration ceremony of the 183rd anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo.

Whether you can be there or not: Remember the Alamo!
 
He who makes an attempt to enslave me, thereby puts himself into a state of war with me.


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