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Posts for mlevin

Big Government's Raid on the Banks

It is not surprising that Texas cities restrict strip clubs, but now the City of West Lake Hills near Austin has banned new banks and nearby Lakeway has required them to obtain a unique permit. Why? Because they do not generate sales tax revenue.

By |May 23, 2008
City of Dallas Entering Hotel Business with $500 Million in Tax Dollars

Even as local governments like the City of Dallas can barely keep the potholes filled and their jails running properly, they are none too eager to indulge in mission creep. On May 15, the Dallas City Council approved spending $42 million to purchase land to create a city-owned convention center hotel that all told could cost taxpayers $520 million.

By |May 18, 2008
Abbott Sides with Taxpayers: No New Property Taxes Without a Constitutional Amendment

Kudos to Attorney General Greg Abbott for an outstanding AG’s opinion released yesterday that concludes the Legislature may not impose new property taxes without a constitutional amendment approved by the voters. Texans for Fiscal Responsibility had submitted a letter brief in February to the AG Opinions Committee and our position, and more importantly Texas taxpayers, prevailed.

By |May 13, 2008
State Rep. Smithee, Beaumont Enterprise Say Give It Back

Rep. John Smithee (R-Amarillo) told a local TV station, “The government doesn’t need to be taxing or collecting anymore money than is absolutely necessary. We can either find some place to spend that money or give it back to the tax payers and from my standpoint, it’s the taxpayers money. I’m for anything that will help homeowners and their tax burden.

By |May 12, 2008
Texas Schools & Colleges Ask for Additional Tax Dollars Rather Than Control Costs

At an interim hearing this week in McAllen, Texas school districts and colleges demanded yet more tax money. The tag team approach may have backfired though, as South Texas College justified their request on the grounds that two-thirds of their students need remedial classes. What does that say about the job the school districts are doing?

By |May 10, 2008
New Business Tax Too Taxing

Many business are bracing for the worst when they file their new gross margins tax report on June 15. Consider Mesquite-based Alco Glass, which reported a loss of $18,000 in 2007, but will owe $6,000 in margin taxes, which will require them to take out a loan. All told, the business tax is expected to forcibly transfer 6.1 billion from the private sector into government coffers.

By |May 3, 2008
School Districts Should Trim Central Office Before Raising Taxes

Edgewood ISD announced this week they are cutting as many as 12 central office positions, though the district says they have 92 more than needed. Other Texas districts should follow – consider that Dallas and Houston ISDs have about 3,000 central office staff while the Catholic school systems in New York and Chicago, each with 100,000 plus students, have between 22 and 28.

By |April 27, 2008
Travis County Appraisals Skyrocket

At a time of record foreclosures and declining home values, someone forgot to tell the Travis County appraiser. Values were posted minutes ago and my home rose a whopping 19.3%, sending my school property tax cut up in smoldering flames. However, values are up 31% in Lago Vista.

If you own a home in Travis County, check your value at:

By |April 23, 2008