In 2021, a bipartisan coalition ended school property tax abatements for corporations and renewable energy companies. On this week’s Liberty Cafe, Vance Ginn and Tim Hardin join Bill to discuss how Big Government Texas Republicans are attempting to restore this program for their friends in Big Business.
This podcast was transcribed by a robot called Otter.ai. Please forgive any errors in the text, as robots still have a lot to learn.
Corporate cronyism is in the news again, just recently, a member of the Texas Legislature filed a bill to reconstitute chapter 313 of the Texas tax code. If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically giving property tax abatements to big corporations, particularly multibillion dollar international corporations that run renewable energy projects here in Texas. So that program went away at the end of last year. And but now the Texas Legislature particularly it seems those in the Texas House are trying to bring that program back again, to cut property taxes for these big corporations, while the Texas legislature is in one sense, throwing pennies at real property tax reduction in the Texas Legislature and for us Texans. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today, on the Liberty cafe. Hi, this is Bill Peacock, and welcome to the Liberty cafe. It’s always a blessing to have you here. And it’s always a blessing to be sponsored by the good folks over Texas scorecard. They are doing great work in the fight for liberty here in Texas, and really all across the globe. So grow globe. So go please to Texas scorecard.com. And see what you can do to join in the fight for liberty there. Well, I have two special guests with me today on the Liberty cafe and looking forward to discussing. Chapter 313 and property tax abatements and corporate cronyism. And even more importantly, how we can have economic growth in Texas without all these government programs and government interventions. So just like everybody, I’d like to welcome Vance again. And Tim Hart Hart, and welcome, guys. Good to be here. Good to see you. So what Vance Ghen is a PhD economist. He has many years of experience working in that in in and around Texas government and the federal government as well. He spent a number of years as the chief economist and the center director for the Center for Economic prosperity at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and also spent some time up in Washington DC, as an economist with the Office of Management and Budget, under in the Trump White House. And he was smart, then got out of Washington, DC, although I’m sure working for the Trump White House was a great blessing, but came back down to Texas and is now a consultant here working on various projects here. Tim is a is the president and CEO of Texans for fiscal responsibility. outside of Austin here. He’s also a pastor. And he was chief of staff in the Texas House of Representatives for about eight years. So both of them have a lot of experience in government and particularly on financial and fiscal matters. And and both I would say also are married with beautiful wives and beautiful children. So again, it’s good to have you here, guys. So let’s go ahead and get started and talk about this. So So Vance, you, you’ve been worked with both. You’ve been working on this for a long time. But Vance, you particularly have been focusing and thought a lot about chapter 313. Can you just give us a rundown on what that program looks like and what it’s been doing over time? Yeah, Bill, and it really is a pleasure to be here with you today. And thank you for all your great work over the years as well. Chapter 313 has been in place for a while now. And it’s basically a property tax abatement for big businesses so that they will not have to pay as much in property taxes as they otherwise would. Very little very minimal compared to what they otherwise would. Part of that agreement with school districts. This is Chapter 313. So it’s dealing with school districts that given this abatement for a specified period of time, they’re supposed to create a number of jobs, you have these new investments, bring in so much money to the community, and hopefully be economic development is what some consider it to be to the community at large and a large part of that. But you know, what’s also a part of this chapter 313, is that the school, you know, they don’t lose any additional money, the money is still funded by the state to match any sort of the amounts of the abatement. So they’re not really out of anything here. The ones that ultimately end up lose are the other taxpayers in the process who they shift this burden because the spending doesn’t go down. So they still got to fund the overall spending. And that burden of that spending is shifted in the form of higher taxes on other taxpayers in the process. And we’ve seen Bill over the years and you’ve done a lot of good research on this as well. You know, I think it’s in the billions 10s of Bill. US dollars, I forget the exact amount that you put on in the past, but it’s a massive amount of money that’s been debated that’s that’s just been shifted to other people because again spending to not go down. That’s the ultimate burden of government. And and what we’ve seen in the process is that many of these intended amounts of job, number of jobs are going to be created will never came into existence. They certainly weren’t permanent jobs, they were very temporary jobs and things of that nature. The schools continue to get additional funding, we’ve seen how outcomes haven’t matched funding levels the same time. So we’ve seen that going on. At the end of the day, this is picking winners and losers, it should not be a role for government to be standing in the way of what the market forces are of pride, the pricing system, and everything else in the knowledge that’s created. Now, you talk a lot about this as well in the program of sound economics, where the knowledge that’s gained from the price system is so important, and you’re distorting all of that with the sort of, you know, picking winners and losers with the chapter 313 That ultimately goes ultimately to build to to large businesses, and oftentimes unreliable sources of energy, those projects for renewable energy projects. And when you’re doing that, I think at the end of the day, you’re just wasting taxpayer money. Yeah, I think wasting taxpayer money is a good way to summarize chapter 313. Right, it just doesn’t do as much good. So Tim, you were part of the process and the Texas legislature last session, when, in 2021, when the chapter 313 program went away, right, it was it’s been a program in Texas for several decades. And but at the end of last session, it just it had to come up for renewal, as it often does. And I think the last time it was up in about 2015, if I’m not mistaken. And but this time, it wasn’t renewed, what happened? Why did why did it go away? Well, I think you know, starting off, if you look at, you know, the support from from both parties, really both the Democrat Party and the Republican Party in their platforms oppose corporate welfare. And so this is the main reason the the parties and the people of Texas do not like corporate welfare. And if you look at three Thirteen’s in the life of the program, I believe we spent about $11 billion dollars in its total. And so when people are suffering under inflation, when we are being priced out of our homes, because our property taxes continue to go up, when you bring that to people and say, hey, you know, we want to continue to spend this multibillion dollar corporate welfare program, it just doesn’t go over very well. And so the, despite the efforts of lobbyists, and despite the efforts of even leadership, they just couldn’t get it across the finish line was last go round. And I think that is a really good thing. And we’d like to see it, stay six feet under the ground for sure. Yeah, it was really interesting to watch this whole process last session, because there was this weird combination or coalition of the left and the right. On this right, there was the Texas Public Policy Foundation and TFR. But there’s also the Houston Chronicle and the what used to be the Center for Public Policy Priorities, whatever that’s called today, every, every every Texan, and and some of the some of the what you might call left wing or mainline religious groups and stuff out there, and who normally, you know, none of these groups on the left ever support. You know, they support big government. Right, they like that. But you know, Tim, what do you think there’s the connection there between this this left and right, coalition? What brings them together? Well, I think it probably is, is different, right? For for each individual group, whether you’re talking about Democrats or Republicans, I think Democrats tend to want to see welfare, but not corporate welfare, because they see big corporations taking tax dollars is taking away from individual welfare, you know, things like snap and things they’re promoting. And so ultimately, they they’re still trying to grow government. They’re just trying to, you know, increase welfare to the individual, not corporations. I think, you know, most Republicans are people who declare themselves to be conservatives believe in principles of limited government, and that we should cut government and that we should not be picking winners and losers. And so I think on the right side, I think that it is it is an ideological a listen, we should not be handing out tax dollars and letting the government pick winners and losers. We should be reducing the size of government and reducing government’s influence on the free markets. And that is the best way to have success both for individuals and for corporations. It’s pretty amazing what happened. So the program expired this past December 31. And what that means is so all the all the applications that were approved, and gotten made it through the process. Just before that time, they’re still in effect that it’s not like, the damage is going away, but at least no more damage is coming in. But you can see how popular this is with big business. You know, from the I looked at the some of the numbers from the period of time from June 1 2021, which is when it became obvious that the program was going to die in a year and a half through the end of last year. So almost a year and a half. Or just over a year and a half. There were 461 applications filed by big businesses, you know, they were just zooming in. It’s funny, the comptroller said it was a new record, right? For new applications. Well, of course it is, they’re all lining up the trough trying to get their applications before it expires. The good news is, is that only 362 of those were approved during that time. So that’s kind of the good news, bad news kind of thing. You know, at least they weren’t all approved, you, you would have hoped that maybe the comptroller would have been a little more inefficient during that period. But But that’s kind of what we wound up with and the number of the tax limitations. So the reduction in values, we’re about $12 billion from all these, which means that that kind of works out to a tax savings, tax cuts for all these corporations for about $270 million. So that’s $270 million, that the rest of us are going to have to be paying into public schools and other things. But But these businesses aren’t, it’s really a mess. Yeah, it is Bill. And, you know, one of the things one of the first lessons that economics is that incentives matter. And so whenever something’s going away, this is incentivizing bit these businesses to come out and you know, that they want, they want their tax breaks, you know, they want to be as profitable as possible. So why wouldn’t they want to lower their costs, the incentives are in place for them to do that. And I think what you said earlier, Tim, kind of the breakdown between the political divide was, was spot on. And this is where it all comes in. That’s to say, look, this is just a bad deal for both sides, who would ends up helping the most are politicians in those businesses that get the tax breaks, right? But But politicians want to do this because they win votes. This is public choice economics, where you get rent seekers that come in, and they want to have those votes and say, look, look at all what we did in this area. But the ones that lose every single time are the taxpayers. And this is another example. And I was glad to see chapter 3313 in in December, I’m hopeful that something will will will not pass this time. But there’s going to be a lot of pressure once again, because of that rent sinky because of the big businesses because of the associations and everyone else to put something else in its place. And that’s exactly the case. Well, we’ll, we’ll see what comes up. Matter of fact, why don’t we just talk a little bit about that now, Tim? So so the one reason we’re having this conversation is that a bill was filed to renew this. Can you kind of tell us where things stand what’s going on right now, with this new legislation and what the landscape looks like? Yeah, sure. I believe this was filed by Lizano. And in my, my understanding the bill is it’s the only one so far I’ve seen and it seems to be putting it right back into place in the exact same form. It was. So it’s truly just bringing it back. There’s been, of course discussion about, you know, renewable energy. There’s a considerable amount of these three Thirteen’s that were given, you know, solar and wind farms in the past. And that’s been a sticking point for some, you know, Republicans, and so there’s been calls to remove that from we might see, you know, if this gets to the floor, we might see an amendment that would remove those to make it more palatable, to pass for Republicans. You know, there’s been whispers and rumors that if they take it out, we might see them throw it right back in and a conference committee or something like that. I would imagine that’s a real possibility. I’m sure all those lobbyists for those green energy companies want those tax abatements as well. We have also heard feeling the Speaker of the House came out publicly before session started and said I want this to be renewed. He is unashamedly said, we want to bring this back. I don’t know if there’s a strong sentiment in the Senate. I don’t think there is. But we’re going to find out in the next few months exactly how much want there is to pass in the Senate. And so my understanding right now is that this bill would essentially bring 33 Thirteen’s back in the same form they were in and they’re just going to take another shot and see if they can whip the votes to flip this thing around and bring it back in its its same form as of right now. So Vance, earlier you were talking about before we got on on line here you were talking about an article you saw the talks about Fort Worth is signed on to an effort to to push this this program through the Texas Legislature and I think there were like 180 or something like that businesses and others in this coalition’s I mean, who’s behind all this and. Why is it so important to? Yeah, Bill? I mean, that’s one of the important things. Here’s the look back behind the cut behind the scenes right behind the curtain, what’s actually going on. And this was out of the Fort Worth report, February 18 2023, that talks about, you know, this loss of multibillion dollar job deals to other states, nearly 180 top manufacturers, business leaders and economic development chiefs across the state are waging a unified appeal to the Texas Legislature to adopt new state incentives to, quote, bring jobs and long term revenue to Texas communities in quote. And so there’s a number of them that are involved with this. I mean, you’ve got the Texas Association of Business Association and manufacturers, Texas chemical Council, Texas Economic Development Council, Texas, the taxpayers and Research Association, among a number of others across this state, you know, greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce and Fort Worth, as well, Grand Prairie. Anyway, you go through a whole bunch of the list that’s in this article. But it really just shows that there is a lot of demand, not demand by individuals, not by individual Texans, but demand by politicians and demand by big associations that are backed and supported by mostly big businesses. Also, renewables, even some oil and gas folks are in this as well. Right? This is this is kind of across the board. This isn’t just picking on a reliable, unreliable sources of energy, although I think they need a lot of picking on this is also oil and gas too. And so what we really need ultimately, you know, Bill and someone you’ve done a great job working on over the years. And Tim, as well, as you’re finding this this Texas model, I think we want to talk some about on what brings everyone here. Why are we still having 1000 people moving to Texas every day and business is moving here. And I would argue that it’s not because of these incentives, these economic development deals, can chosen by politicians of what they think is right, because many of these are not profitable. There’s not the high return on investment that they are that they claim, and it’s not needed. In Texas, what is needed is more free markets, more economic freedom, more opportunities for people to live their lives for businesses to flourish, instead of going on to all these other guys. And you know, these big businesses really want big associations and politicians. Let’s think about Texans and taxpayers. Yeah, exactly the case. Tim, you’re so you’re the president, CEO of Texas for fiscal responsibility. But I would assume that there’s more behind it, you want more than just people being or the state being fiscally responsible, there’s a purpose behind that right there that, that you that there’s a reason that we want the government to be fiscally responsible? Because there there are good things that happen when that happens. And if you will, you know, I was looking at this article from the Houston business journal that’s complete where people down in Houston area are complaining that the Texas miracle is over. Right, because and here’s what the subhead says it says, big businesses are already steering clear the state now that a key incentive is gone. So when you’re looking at things from the Texas miracle perspective, economic growth perspective, do you really think it’s, you know, government incentives to big businesses that makes Texas flourish economically, or if not, what is it? So I would say, No, and I, you know, we actually have a couple of statements that would would back that up. We have a study that was put out in 2018. And this is the effects of state and local incentives, it estimated that at least 75% of those businesses that received incentives would have still opted to relocate without those. And more specifically, in 2017, there was a study done in Texas of at chapter 313, abatement recipients and found only 15% of those businesses that received the incentives would have located elsewhere without them. And so of, you know, chapter 313 recipients, only a small fraction of those, it even played a role in them wanting to relocate to Texas anyways. And so it’s a very small percentage. And my guess is that could be even be exaggerated as well. I would argue that people want to move to Texas for a number of different reasons. You know, the I think the best incentive package is limiting state and local spending, eliminating things like property taxes, you know, giving abatements for everybody, not just for businesses that will still attract businesses here and shrinking the size of government and encroachment of government. I think there’s also a cultural standpoint, I think people have moved here. Because of the culture of Texas because of the economy of Texas. You look at, for instance, Elon Musk, relocating Tesla, I think a lot of that was our less regulatory environment compared to California. But I also think that you know, Looking at how he has kind of reacted to the woke culture and everything else, I think he’s just he’s moved to Texas for the culture just as much as he has for the economy. So there’s a lot of variables there. But ultimately, it comes down to a freer market is always a better market, where we have more competition. We have businesses that want to come in where the state is not picking winners and losers. So the less tentacles of government we can have on both individuals and businesses. That is the best incentive. And if we’re going to talk about property tax abatements, like I said, that what we should be doing is talking about eliminating property taxes altogether. Could you imagine if we eliminated property taxes for, you know, homesteaders and real estate investors and businesses, I think that would be a phenomenal incentive. And we wouldn’t have to pick winners and losers. We wouldn’t have to steal from Texas taxpayers to give to multibillion dollar international woke corporations who by the way, are many of these are silencing conservatives, Facebook receives incentives, Tesla receives incentives. There’s a lot of other kind of Silicon Valley that have absolutely been caught canceling conservatives in the last couple of years, but yet the state is continuing to give them money. It seems counter counterintuitive to me. Yeah, and I want to hit on property taxes, just just a second here, and see what the state of play is for that. But you mentioned the cultural attraction of Texas, it reminds me of that the Babylon B videos, have y’all seen those, but the couple from California, and the guy really just takes to this new gun and meat culture, because you know, he wasn’t getting that stuff out in California, the wife takes a little bit longer, but eventually she gets in there too, right? And I think you’re right. I mean, that’s what brought Davy Crockett, here, if you read his letters, you know, from from years ago, freedom, and liberty and opportunity, right? Those are the kinds of things that bring people here. And, you know, we’ve talked about with with folks, y’all and others about how, you know, when and I think maybe, Tim, you were just mentioning this, that, you know, people come to Texas, and they they they may not be conservative, in a political sense Republican necessarily, but they valued his freedom and opportunity. And it draws them here. And then they they turn around and start voting for that where they want more freedom and liberty. Whereas when we have these, these property tax abatements, and I think this what you were talking about earlier, Tim is, you know, big businesses come here, and they bring all their liberal employees with them. And it shifts it shifts the culture the other way here in Texas. Yeah. And Bill, if I could just add real quick G with it with the Texas model. You know, we also don’t have a personal income tax, which I think is huge, you know, relatively less government spending, we need to do a better job. We’ve all been talking about that. relatively less, you know, taxes, more sensible regulatory climate that you’ve had, that we’ve had here. And I think that that’s really shown in a lot of ways of why people are moving to Texas, you know, 1000 people moving here every day, when I was in DC, in the Trump administration, you know, the deregulation, and the tax cuts and Jobs Act, the combination of those things, we saw a lot more growth, we saw businesses moving back to the United States now should have done a better job on spending and a lot of other things. Okay, but those were two big areas that helped to support more growth. And if you just think about the salt deduction of $10,000, of what the dynamics of that has been of moving people from California, to Texas, and Florida, and Tennessee, the places without an income tax. Now we add into this situation. And I think this is where the folks who want these incentive deals are saying, Look, I can’t compete with Florida and Tennessee, if we don’t have these deals. And I just think that that is that is not sound, that that’s not the way that we want to go is to go against economic freedom. The Fraser Institute puts out the economic free of North America index they do based on spending taxes and regulations, labor market regulations, Texas ranks the fourth highest, the fourth most free. Florida ranks number one right now New Hampshire is up there. Tennessee is up there. So we have our own competition. Yes, correct. But we want it towards more economic freedom, less government spending, lower taxes, more sensible regulation. Those are the types of things that we’re going to bring about more opportunity, more human flourishing here in the great state of Texas, not by going down this progressive route of handing out money to others. Yeah, it’s interesting. You mentioned that it used to be that we here in Texas could could basically compare ourselves to any state and show how much better we were than those others. Now, I don’t think we can do that, at least with Florida out there in Florida has lower property taxes in Texas. It also doesn’t have an income tax. It’s got low regulations. I mean, clearly, I mean, I don’t know what the economic growth is looking like in Florida versus taxes but but my guess is you know, Florida is kind of taking the lead now in the when it comes to the Freedom Index when it when it comes to that. So I’m hoping that we can do some things, particularly on taxes to, to switch those roles back again. And speaking of that, let’s let’s move on to the property taxes. And we’ll wrap up here pretty soon on on this topic so well, so we’re getting property tax cuts for big business out of 313. We see this kind of bifurcation of the of the property tax system we’ve already seen over the years, increases in homeowners exemption. For instance, for homeowners, they get some exemptions that lower their property taxes, but renters don’t get anything. And then, and then businesses don’t get anything from that. But then we also see these big property tax cuts, we’ve been talking about 313. For business, we’ve been talking about 313. But there’s also chapter 312, which are tax abatements from cities and counties. And so the system kind of gets broken up here. And, and everybody’s fighting against each other rather than fighting against the government looking for big property taxes overall. So that’s kind of the backdrop for the battle over property taxes going on. In Austin today, Tim, we’ve got this $32 billion surplus out there. I mean, maybe I’m naive, but I’m assuming just the legislature is going to give that all back to us in the form of property taxes. Based on some of Abbott’s tweets and statements, you would think that right, because he often leads with, you know, the the surplus is taxpayer dollars, and we’re gonna give it back to you in property tax. And so, so that means all of it, right? Well, no, that’s that’s actually not the case, at least currently, what we’re seeing right now is in the general Appropriations Act, the budget both in the House and the Senate, they’re pretty identical. What they’re proposing, they’re saying $15 billion in relief, that number is a little deceptive, they’re actually using 5.3 of old compression from 2019, HB three in that number. So new relief, they’re actually offering nine point 7,000,000,003 of that is a homestead exemption increase. And we’re not a big fan of homestead exemption increases, mainly because it’s a reaction to inflation, in my opinion. And if you if you remember, we just raised it from 25k to 40k. And now, I believe Patrick was kind of leading the way of increasing it from 40k to 70k. So it’s about a $30,000 increase for that 3 billion. The problem is, you know, most homesteads, you know, they’re capped at 10% growth. And so the average home in Texas being 300, or $350,000, you take 10% of that, that’s 30 billion will we’re going to eclipse that very quickly. If not immediately, we prefer to see that money put into compression, specifically school immuno compression, because this is permanent and long lasting. Of course, there’s been a lot of rhetoric of the biggest property tax cut in history, we’ve heard really, all of the big three, say that as well as lawmakers, they’re going off of a number, believe from it went into effect 2008, this is 14 point 2 billion. That was that was given in relief back then. So there, that’s why they’re kind of champing that $15 billion number, if you actually adjust that number for inflation, we’re just under 20 billion. And so if we want to be, you know, intellectually honest, and say we’re giving the biggest property tax cut in history, we should be closer to 20 billion, and we should be using that baseline of 9.7. So if we increased a 10,000,000,001, we would have to break the constitutional spending limit, which can be done with a simple majority. But I would go a step further and what our organization has pushed us we want to tie the hands of government and put ourselves on a path of property tax elimination. We’re a fan of all of a sudden brought the first kind of version of this bill in the in the last couple of specials. Now we’ve seen Cain and Schaefer filed some very similar legislation using 90% of that surplus, which would equal of what about 28 or $29 billion to pay down immuno, and then it would specifically continue to compress those rates, biennium after biennium until that rate was zero. Think that is the best first step towards eliminating all property taxes because of course, we won’t want to stop there. And there’s there’s other local limits. Maybe I’ll let advanced kind of handle we want to do on the local level. But that’s kind of where I see us right now. I think we have about three or 4 billion and wiggle room without breaking that constitutional spending limit. Of course, we’re okay breaking that limit if you’re going to give it to taxpayers. And so that’s the current state of where we’re at at the beginning of session. Vance Tim just talked about the the limits that property tax growth and things like that but in some research that that my organization how fines are one of my organization’s how fines Liberty Institute, is your foundation is gonna be putting out pretty soon and I think TFR might be doing some work on this too. Is that you know, property tax the levy last year from 2021 to 2022, which is the year the most recent property tax relief went into effect. Property taxes went up 12% The levy went up 12% How is that possible kind of boggles my brain so I’m gonna let you explain it to everybody. How when we see all these limits 3.5% limits on growth of the property taxes in cities and counties and stuff like that. How do you get from 3.5% to 12%? Yeah, Billy definitely boggles the brain, and it has my my mind seeing price tag of how much Warman in property taxes, you’re gonna have to pay. And I think Texans are seeing that all across this great state. And you don’t even have to look at organizations as where the numbers are coming from the recent discussion in the House Appropriations, if you look at the LP bes summary pages, their presentation, just for school district property taxes, they showed the massive increase in school property taxes year over year 13%, right to 13%. So to your point, Bill, the school portion of House Bill 320 19, limited some of that growth to 2.5%. That’s an existing property. And there’s some other things in there, but 2.5%, that’s well above that 13%, as well above the 2.5%. And then cities and counties, most of them, some were carved out because they had too small the population. There’s some work some bills that have been filed now to try to remove that. And also didn’t include debt, which some bills are trying to include debt now in there, too, which I think is a good idea. But that is limited to 3.5%. Well, they’re growing 789 10 11%. And the reason why is because those limitations were only on property, like existing property, it didn’t include any of the new property. And we’ve been growing by leaps and bounds. I’ve already said this a couple of times, we’re growing 1000 people a day, a lot of them are getting new property, new homes, new businesses that are moving out. And none of that has been captured by these limitations. And then the ins, which is the interest in sinking portion, which is the debt portion hasn’t been included underneath these limitations. And so all that growth is well above any of the growth that they’ve had underneath that those limitations, those rollback rates is what they’re called. And those have got to come down. I mean, those limitations were better in the sense of the 8% rate, rollback rates we had before no doubt about it, right? Those were those were better. But given the growth that we’ve had now, and how we’ve really got to get control of spending and property tax growth, we need to know new revenue rate, the no new revenue rate just means that values are going up, that rates got to come down such that there’s no new revenue to these local entities. And if they want new revenue, then you go to the voters, and you ask and you say, hey, look, this is the reason why we need those dollars. And then that should be a part of this process, instead of just going up by how much ever they want right now, because these limitations aren’t doing a good job. Well, thank you, gentlemen, I think we’ve laid out a pretty good practical case of why we should not well, why should we should cut property taxes for everybody, and not just cut property taxes for a few big businesses, right? It just simply, it works better. Economically, the state is more vibrant, and jobs are more jobs. You know, government doesn’t create jobs, people create jobs, businesses create jobs, and it just works better when property taxes are lower for all rather than just for a few special interest. But I think we should probably end here by talking about the moral component of all this. I mean, you know, if if, you know, no, I’m not saying that he would, but if, you know, Elon Musk came to Texas, for instance, and wanted to build, build the thing here, but he didn’t want to pay all this was taxes. And he and he came, came over to my house and stuck a gun to my head and said, Hey, Bill, give me some of your money so I can pay my property taxes, he got to jail for something like that. But if he comes to Texas and goes to the Texas Legislature and to his local school district and local county and says, Hey, give me some bills money, then it’s perfectly legal, and it’s okay. And there’s something wrong about that. I call it theft. And I think it’s theft. Whether you do it with a gun and you do it with the government, it just the government has no business taking our money from us taxpayers and giving it to these big businesses. I just think that’s, that’s wrong. Yeah, I think, you know, we stand on the moral argument for property taxes in general, you know, the where we start is not necessarily policy but in the fact that if if you are paying perpetual property taxes, which there’s a lot of problems with it, it’s an unrealized gain, you know, when when our houses appreciate, but more importantly, you actually don’t own your home. And if you think you own your home, I would encourage you to stop paying your property taxes, and you’re probably going to find out really good. Luckily, who actually owns your home. And despite if we’ve paid our home off, you’re going to pay those property taxes every single year, when you die, your kids will inherit that property, they will pay it forever, when they die, their kids will pay it forever. And so this is a it’s really laughing in the face of the idea of private property, which is one of the principles that our country was founded upon. There are better ways to fund government than by perpetually taxing people out of their homes sometimes, you know, I would start with, we don’t even need to have the conversation about a consumption based tax. How about we start with limiting the size of government and cutting the size of government? I think we could accomplish quite a bit just by doing that. But I think you know, at the heart of the property tax issue is an ethical and a moral argument, because we simply don’t own our homes if we are renting from the government. Yeah, that’s a really good way to wrap things up. If if we cut government spending in half, we can cut taxes in half to it’s a really simple proposition for those people who aren’t happy with taxes. Really spending is what leads and we have to reduce spending if we’re going to ultimately reduce taxes on that. So Well, thank you both very much for being here. Today is a pleasure to have this conversation with you. Y’all are doing great work for Texans out there. And please keep it up. Thanks a lot, Bill. And thanks all you for listening to the Liberty Cafe today and joining us with our guests. And thanks again also to Texas scorecard, the sponsor of the Liberty cafe. Thank you for listening to the Liberty cafe with Bill peacock. This show is produced by Texas scorecard. You can learn more about the show and find other shows at Texas scorecard.com. Be sure you subscribe and rate the show on whatever platform you listen on. See you next time
Transcribed by https://otter.ai