JoAnn Fleming: Time to Get Involved

The “purple session” and property tax reform is the signal that it’s time for the grassroots to get involved with their local governments.

Joe Straus Returns

The former Speaker of the Texas House is seeking a return to political relevancy with a new PAC.

Advertising Government

When government resorts to advertising its programs and services, that’s a sure sign government has gotten just a little too big. 

Texas bureaucrats spend millions every year advertising the Children’s Health Insurance Program and other welfare assistance activities. They literally beg people to feed at the government trough. 

Texas School Districts Plotting Property Tax Rate Increases

The San Antonio Express-News reports that numerous school districts in San taxbiteAntonio and around the state are preparing to ask their voters to approve tax rate increases.  One such district is San Antonio ISD which is on the verge of seeking a tax rate increase even though its superintendent admits it "has been running inefficiently, with one-third of its available facility space going unused." 

State Rep. Tells Court: I Know Nothing

Fred Hill: Knows nothing about taxpayer protectionsIn what is either a rare act of political honesty or an unbelievable admission of dereliction of duty, or both, State Rep. Fred Hill (R-Richardson) swore under oath that he doesn’t know anything about the state’s existing spending limit.

Odd, considering he has served for years on the extremely powerful Legislative Budget Board – the 10 appointed members of which are specifically charged by the Legislature to “Adopt a constitutional spending limit.” In fact, that is the first responsibility listed on the LBB web site!

“I do not have any involvement in the development or calculation of the State spending limit,” swore Mr. Hill on August 7, 2007.  (Taxpayers and voters would be excused if they break into a little swearing of their own at this point.)

School Tax Scam

Here’s a nice little scam floating around school districts: claiming credit for cutting taxes when they haven’t.

Bad Tax Ideas Never Go Away

Whack A MoleFighting tax-and-spendoholics is like playing Wack-A-Mole at the arcade. You knock them down, only to find they pop right back up. The lesson? We have to move faster and hit harder.

Last legislative session, taxpayers were successful in stopping tax-and-spendoholics from increasing the taxes to fund further boondoggle spending on more light-rail and other mass transit pork (the only thing “mass” is the cost – mass transit fails to actually relieve congestion, dollar for dollar). But, hey, those trains are fun at Disney World…

Road Taxes Should Fund Roads? What A Crazy Idea…

Sen. John CaronaState Sen. John Carona says in today’s Dallas Morning News that Texas must “stop the diversion of gas tax funds for other uses.” That’s welcome news. While the state’s constitution currently requires transportation funds to be used for transportation expenses, “transportation” is a constantly-expending term.

According to the Morning News, almost a third of Texas’ gasoline tax revenues for transportation have been “diverted” away from true transportation projects.

Privatization Serves Taxpayers Even When Contractors Fail

Advocates of big government rarely let facts get in the way of their pursuit of growing budgets. Such is the case with Waco Tribune-Herald editor John Young, whose weekly column is very often devoted to the worship of government (of the activist variety) and the damnation of conservative, free market principles.

Property Tax Relief… For Government Employees

The headline in today's Houston Chronicle says it all: City union asks for property tax relief. My heart leapt for joy: Bureaucrats are now joining the call for tax relief!

But then I read the article… They don't want property tax relief for all taxpayers, only for government employees. Acting in true-to-bureaucratic form, the city employee union there is looking for a new taxpayer-funded program that would pay the property taxes of city employees. The audacity almost makes the head spin.

Ineffective Treatment?

The Houston Chronicle reported over the weekend that medical professionals are skeptical that the legislature's new $3 billion "cancer fund" will accomplish much more than spend $3 billion of the taxpayers' money.

But, don't worry, it was created with the best of intentions… State Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston), summed it up nicely in her quote to the Chronicle that "she'd ‘like to sit back and tell my grandchildren I had something to do with the cure.' "