My name’s Rich DeOtte. I’m a constituent of State Sen. Kelly Hancock (R–North Richland Hills), and I had other things to say but something happened a little while ago.

State Rep. Dustin Burrows (R–Lubbock) from the House sent somebody over to get some buttons with the “2.5” on it for the proposed new rollback rate. And I put it on Facebook because I thought that was pretty cool that the guy carrying House Bill 2 wanted it.

I’m a civil engineer, so I’m interacting with cities and towns and school districts a lot every day.

When I put that on Facebook, I started getting comments from people who work for cities and towns, some elected officials, etc., asking me, “Why are you there?”

All of them are upset with me.

Here’s why I’m here. I live in Southlake. Our school taxes have gone up a lot. I don’t like that. Our cities in northeast Tarrant County are run pretty well, so we haven’t been bitten too bad by that. But as a resident of Southlake, a fairly affluent community, I’m more concerned about some of the other people that you all have seen here today.

People in low-income areas who are elderly are being punished by this tax increase.

As activists get up and say their peace here, they’re usually in support of [Senate Bill 2] and the electeds are not, at least most of them, and I’m troubled by that, that they are in such an echo chamber that they don’t understand the pain that real people are suffering as a result of this.

So, if I still have a business when I get back to Southlake, I want to point out that I was at a city leaning on a flat file one day two years ago. That’s what you have in front of you. This is a Texas Municipal League webinar legislative update, and I noticed “revenue caps.” I was in favor of a bill that would have capped those before, and I highlighted the last bullet point. This is a Texas Municipal League that has access through these cities and towns to every employee in 1200 communities around Texas.

“Time to contact House members is NOW. Engage law enforcement and fire.”

And that ripped me. If we’ve got an organization that complains about people objecting to their agenda, that is pushing this out through cities and towns and through local governments everywhere, I think that’s a problem.

And I don’t know where they get their money but I’m pretty sure some West Texas oil billionaires pay taxes that are funding the TML.

Rich DeOtte

Rich DeOtte is the former Vice-Chair of the Tarrant County Republican Party. He and his wife teach biblical prolife theology and serve as ambassadors for Texas Right to Life. Rich is a business owner, civil engineer and land development consultant. He and Yvette live in Southlake.