While Lubbock County’s newest commissioners Chad Seay and Jason Corley showed the entire state how to force a county to adopt the effective tax rate, the no-new-taxes rate, even as a 2-to-3 minority, the civic cheerleader crowd is out telling what the British call “porkies” about the actions of the two stand-up commissioners.

As the news broke that Corley and Seay had exercised their little-known right to thwart a 4-of-5-vote quorum required to pass a new county tax rate (where if they skipped the meetings, the county would be forced by law to adopt the no-new-taxes rate), civic cheerleaders began their spin and smears.

Informed, no doubt by lying County Judge Curtis Parrish and defeated former Commissioner Patti Jones, that Seay and Corley were simply engaging in a “stunt” and claiming the court was planning to adopt the no-new-tax effective tax rate anyway, Lubbock civic cheerleaders went on an all-out campaign to muddy the waters.

First, you should know that the three votes present (Parrish, McCay, and Flores) were already on the record favoring a tax increase; but suddenly, according to the civic cheerleaders, we are expected to believe that all three big spenders—who strongly argued for the tax increase, saying the county needed the funds for critical services—were planning to settle for the effective rate they’d already opposed in Monday’s meeting.

Second, demonstrating the lie of this claim, echoed by the Chamber of Commerce’s Eddie McBride on KFYO the next morning, was the fact that the budget on the same agenda as the tax rate was about $1.5 million over the revenue the effective rate would raise. When outmaneuvered by Corley and Seay, Judge Parrish had to pause the meeting, huddle with others, and come back with an amended budget that was minus that $1.5 million to fit the effective rate.

In other words, Parrish, McCay, and Flores did a budget change on the fly that fit the no-new-taxes tax rate they’d just been forced into accepting and then told media they’d changed their minds and had magically planned on not raising taxes after all.

Corley and Seay noted in an interview on Pratt on Texas that they had good reason not to trust proven-liar Parrish and others.

Why skipping the meeting at which there was a vote on the tax rate was not simply a “stunt,” as enemies claim, is this: Had they been present, all that would have needed to happen is for Democrat Flores, or another member, to have moved to amend the tax rate proposed on the agenda to take it to the rate above the effective rate they had already voted for, argued for previously, and which fit the budget they had brought to the meeting. Had that happened, Corley and Seay would have been outvoted 3-2, and there would be nothing they could have done to stop a tax increase on Lubbock County residents.

The no-show strategy of Corley and Seay was extremely consequential as opposed to a “stunt,” and that is the reason the grow-government and raise-taxes crowds went ballistic over the issue.

The tax increasers were beaten, and citizens won in this round.

This is a commentary submitted and published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to submission@texasscorecard.com.

Pratt on Texas

Robert Pratt has been active in Texas Republican politics since the Reagan re-elect in 1984. He has served as Lubbock County Republican chairman, and in 2006 founded the Pratt on Texas radio network, providing the news and commentary of Texas on both radio and podcast. Learn more at www.PrattonTexas.com.


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