Obsessed with Reform - Texas Scorecard

While the Fort Worth Star Telegram editorial staff is recommending Phil King for H.D. 61, they aren’t endorsing his pursuit of sound policy. They like his years-in-office, but they write that they have to hold their nose over his ideas about protecting taxpayers, bringing accountability to government and ensuring a strong economy.

Despite King’s desire to lower property taxes, amend the current property appraisal system and address problems with the new state margins tax, initiatives that would drive sound economic growth in our state, King is recommended by the Star Telegram based solely on the merit of his experience. We like his experience, but we like his ideas even more.

King is accused by the editors of being “overly obsessed with lowering property taxes.” Taxpayers everywhere (except the Star Telegram newsroom) offer King a hearty, “Thank You!”

Bafflingly, the Star Telegram writes that property taxes were affectively dealt with as part of the school finance reform package. While it is true that the tax rate was addressed in 2005, the appraisal system was not. As a result, appraisal creep has ensured taxpayers didn’t get any relief.

Defying reality, the Star Telegram states that the property appraisal system “has been well-run by county appraisal districts” and that we are to look at the bright side: Texas hasn’t had nearly so large a jump in property valuations as many states. Goody; everyone else is drowning faster than we are.

The editorial also faults King for favoring a constitutional amendment that would dedicate 25 percent of any state budget surplus to lowering property taxes. Returning overpaid taxes to taxpayers, something the Star Telegram thinks “sounds appealing but could hamstring lawmakers in certain instances.” They miss the point: hamstringing lawmakers is the right thing to do.

The Empower Texans PAC is endorsing Phil King because of his strong position on these important policies and others that will help lead to a more prosperous Texas.