My family moved to Texas 25 years ago to escape the irresponsible taxation and spending of California. We purchased a modest home in Coppell. Everything was good for a number of years, then prices started to appreciate — and so did our city’s spending and our taxes.

From just 2013 to 2018 (five years), our tax burden has gone up 45 percent, from $8,405 to $12,199.

Our tax bill for 2018 is higher than the mortgage payment.

In California, we were protected from tax increases by Prop 13. In Texas, there is no such protection from irresponsible spending and tax increases.

Our city and school district spend money like there is no tomorrow. They show no restraint. They build and buy all sorts of goodies that are far in excess of what a governmental entity should provide — goodies I will never use but am forced to pay for.

The responsible thing for the city and school district would be to lower the respective tax rates to show a modest inflationary tax increase of one to two percent a year (maybe). Unfortunately, that’s not what Coppell Independent School District has done.

Rather than put dollars into our local classrooms for teachers, our district has chosen to add expensive administrators, buildings and technology, and all the maintenance and operations expense that goes along with them. Every child in our district is assigned an expensive iPad (approximately $600 each). This costs the community several million dollars a year and reduces much of the traditional student-teacher interaction.

I would like to know how we put a man on the moon with the slide rule in 1969, yet in 2019 a first-grader can’t go to class without an iPad? It just does not make any sense that we spend precious tax dollars on unproven technologies. It’s like there is a nuclear arms race in Texas amongst our independent school districts to see who can have the largest stadium, the biggest indoor facilities, the latest technologies, etc. — all of which have little to do with a quality education.

Not only is our school funding system broken, so are our school spending priorities. Our teachers and our students have fallen down the list of importance.

I had hoped to retire at some point in my home in Coppell. But thanks to irresponsible spending and the corresponding tax increases, I may be rethinking that decision.

I fully support tax reform and relief in Texas. Without it, we will soon be like California. I support a 2.5-percent trigger that forces our local leaders to ask “We the People” if we want a tax increase.

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.

Ron Hansen

Ron, his wife and four children relocated to Coppell, Texas from Southern California 25 years ago. Ron’s family has been very involved in the community and all things Coppell. Professionally, Ron works in the healthcare risk management industry.

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