Nearly 700 taxpayers in Midland County have spoken out against a massive tax hike proposal. Will county commissioners listen?
Our West Texas bureau correspondent Lauren Lawson hand-delivered the petitions today for County Judge Mike Bradford and the commissioners to consider in advance of their meeting tomorrow. At the meeting, they are scheduled to decide whether or not to raise tax rates by 11 percent.
The individual petitions read:
Midland County residents are already being faced with an economic downturn. Despite increasing property values, county officials are pushing an 11% increase in the tax rate, which is an unnecessary and excessive growth of government. I oppose placing a heavier tax burden on families and businesses and urge you to vote “NO” on any property tax hike.
County bureaucrats are trying to justify the tax rate with the claim that a sluggish economy means they need more money. Writing in today’s Midland Reporter Telegram, Lawson refutes that notion. She added:
Tough economic times call for hard work and tough decisions. Government shouldn’t be the exception. Instead of seeking to recoup “lost” revenues, commissioners should treat the county’s coffers like taxpayers do their own pocketbooks in tight economic times. They should distinguish wants from needs for the benefit of the community while living within taxpayers’ means.
A final hearing and vote on the tax hike will happen at 9 a.m. tomorrow (Thursday, Sept. 3). We’ll find out then if Midland County Judge Bradford and commissioners Jimmy Smith, Robin Donnelly, Luis D. Sànchez, and Randy Prude are listening to the taxpayers.