The headline in today's Houston Chronicle says it all: City union asks for property tax relief. My heart leapt for joy: Bureaucrats are now joining the call for tax relief!

But then I read the article… They don't want property tax relief for all taxpayers, only for government employees. Acting in true-to-bureaucratic form, the city employee union there is looking for a new taxpayer-funded program that would pay the property taxes of city employees. The audacity almost makes the head spin.

The Houston Organization of Public Employees (which goes by the acronym HOPE, as in, "Taxpayers' don't have any HOPE of getting tax relief under our watch.") wants all 13,000 city workers to receive a $750 refund on property taxes.

Think it's too crazy? There is precedent: Houston offers a refund on the city-portion of the property tax bill for all Houston firefighters living within the city limits.

You might recall that the loudest opponents to property tax relief during the legislative session were government-affiliated groups; the various city and county associations, the employee unions, a parade of spending recipients, etc.

They all stood lock-step against any effort to protect taxpayers from the outrageous growth of government that has led to skyrocketing property taxes around the state. They didn't want to see any restrictions placed on the growth of government at any level.

But ask for protection for taxpayers? Don't be silly! Tax relief for bureaucrats? Of course! What's good for the goose ain't so hot for the gander.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

A graduate of Texas A&M, former newspaper reporter, one-time Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president, and an Eagle Scout, Michael Quinn Sullivan and his wife have three children. He is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. Check out his podcast, “Reflections on Life and Liberty.”

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