November 12, 2014
Last Thursday, I got pretty sick. No, I don’t think it was a physical reaction to Tuesday’selections, even though I’m just about the only person I voted for that won. It was food poisoning.
I’m ok now, but it was bad for a while. Bad enough that I skipped a trip to Oklahoma for the Baylor game. Yeah, that bad.
Now, I didn’t want anyone to know about this because I didn’t want to give the winners of last week’s elections any ideas. They might enjoy placing me into a very solitary, indefinite quarantine. At least until sometime around June 1, 2015, which is the last day of the next legislative session.
During the upcoming session, I intend to talk a lot about some of the budget secrets used by those in control of the Capitol.
Here’s a piece I wrote for the Texas Tribune that lays out how some of my colleagues in the Legislature rail against rising local property taxes while quietly taking advantage of them to cover some of the state’s obligations to public schools.
They then turn around and point the finger at cities, counties and other local governments as the reason for the rising tax bills.
Texans deserve a tax refund from the Texas Legislature and the truth about how our budget works. Sign my petition in support of property tax reform.
That will be the pretense for efforts to limit the ability of local governments to increase their property tax rates. As a former mayor, it sets my teeth on edge when folks inside the Capitol think they know better than the people elected to make these decisions.
It’s also a false promise. The biggest part of your property tax bill is schools, not your city or county or hospital district. According to the Austin American-Statesman, the tax bill for an average value home in Travis County increased $291 this year and the school tax accounted for $216 of that increase.
You’ll hear a lot of talk about tax cuts next session. And I intend to be in the middle of that discussion to ensure that homeowners get a break by raising the school homestead exemption.
I think it’s long past time for the state to give homeowners a little help. Join me in demanding honesty, budget transparency, and tax relief for Texas families. Take a second and read my piece to get more of my thoughts.