Posts for mlevin

Lubbock Revisiting New $6.7 Million Visitor Center Boondoggle

We blogged this plan a few weeks ago, but thankfully it is now being reconsidered. Instead of spending $6.7 million to build a new visitors center that is to include a walk of fame and theater, the Lubbock City Council is now considering moving an existing building to the site.

By |June 22, 2008
$5 Billion Property Tax Hike Proposed - It's Called Sales Price Disclosure

At a Senate hearing yesterday, Dallas officials called for sales price disclosure. This would raise appraisal values, resulting in $4 billion in additional school property taxes plus billions more in other local property taxes. As the new Texas GOP platform declares, school property taxes should be abolished, but disclosure without a revenue cap would be disastrous.

By |June 17, 2008
More Affordable Fords Can Help Texas Counties Economize

Dallas County is facing a budget shortfall of $20 to $30 million, largely because they have gotten used to increasing spending at double-digit rates, but for the first time in years, appraisal increases didn’t quite keep up. Commissioners are looking for savings, and among them are stopping personal misuse of county cars and switching from fuel-hogging Ford Crown Victorias to Ford Fusions.

By |June 15, 2008
New Texas Democratic Party Platform Silent on Taxes, Big on Spending

With the Texas GOP platform on deck this weekend, the Texas Democratic Party has posted their new platform. It does not address taxes except claiming that current state taxes favor big over small business, but includes items such as universal government health care and a new “global marketing program” at the Texas Dept. of Agriculture that would surely require more government revenue.

By |June 12, 2008
Haunted Housing Authority a Frightening Sight for Dallas Taxpayers

In another example of a failing bureaucracy, a federal audit found that the Dallas Housing Authority cannot account for some $3.8 million dollars in taxpayer funds. While they still haven’t found the missing money, yesterday they found time to debate a proposal to ban staffers religious expressions in e-mails – though the agency could probably use divine intervention at this point.

By |June 11, 2008
New Margins Tax Battering Texas Businesses

On June 15th, Texas business will have to fork over a big of chunk of change to fill state coffers. Some 84 percent of Texas small businesses will see their tax burdens increase by more than 100 percent over their previous franchise tax bill, with more than 40 percent seeing a spike of over 500 perccent.

By |June 1, 2008
Apple IPods for Texas Students Take a Bite Out of Taxpayers

It probably sounds too good to be a true to most Texas headbanging middle school students, but they may be getting an iPod on taxpayers’ dime. This past week New Summerfield ISD announced it had received a $17,000 grant from the state to give IPods to 85 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. The money comes the Texas Education Agency’s Rural Technology grant program.

By |May 26, 2008