Maybe We Can Just Walk To Work?

A friend of Empower Texans and TFR today passed along the "newsletter" that accompanies his water bill in the City of Taylor. The newsletter brags about a $574,000 grant from the Texas Transportation Commission to the Taylor Independent School District for the construction of new sidewalks "in several neighborhoods." What?

TPPF Commentary – Schools Can’t Break Addiction to Higher Taxes

Remember the big school property tax cut you were supposed to get? Your local school district might be about to take it away.

Last year, the Legislature passed a plan that used the state’s new business tax and part of the state’s $14 billion budget surplus to buy down the property tax rates for day-to-day operations to $1.00.

Constitutional Propositions

My friends at the Plano-based Free Market Foundation have produced a fantastic summary of the statewide constitutional ballot, with "pro" and "con" arguments for each. (You can view their work here.) Remember, your local ballot will probably have additional questions — school districts seeking to raise taxes, county bonds, etc. Check your county’s website to see the full ballot for your area.

Republicans In Name

House Speaker Tom Craddick put voice this week to what conservative voters have been depressed about for several years: there are some Republican legislators who work against the conservative agenda. Here’s what Speaker Craddick said in the Midland Reporter-Telegram: "Even though we’ve got this Republican majority, we have several Republicans who don’t vote with the rest of us."

Running Right

While in Temple this week to guest-host a radio show, I had the opportunity to meet Michael Pearce. Hopefully you’ll get to know him, too. A Marine veteran and former classroom teacher, Pearce is running for the open House District 55 seat in the Texas Legislature. Not only does he appear to be right on the issues, he is running a campaign in the right way.

Is Lege’s School Rate Cut Driving Higher School Taxes?

It’s an inconvenient truth, but not only did the legislature’s effort to buy-down school property tax rates not result in lower tax bills (because they left the appraisal process untouched), but it has lead to higher school taxes. At least one elected official is calling it right.

Merry Christmas

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson is under fire from environmental groups because of his decision to sell the so-called “Christmas Mountains” which abut Big Bend National Park in far west Texas. Patterson rightly believes that the land will be better utilized (and better protected) by private owners.