One of Texas’ largest taxpayer-funded lobbying organizations is urging cities across the state to “shake the money tree” by raising taxes on their citizens.
The Texas Municipal League, which consists of over 1,100 Texas cities, made the statement during a conference held in Austin this week. Corsicana City Councilman Chris Woolsey shared an image of the presentation from one of the conference’s sessions on Facebook; the presentation was titled “Shaking the Money Tree: A City Revenue Discussion” and was delivered by TML Legislative Counsel Bill Longley.
“Sadly, the ‘shaking the money tree’ reference wasn’t an offhanded comment, it was the TITLE of the presentation,” Woolsey said in his post. “While taxpayers across the state are being forced out of their homes by rising property taxes, Texas Municipal League, the leading advocate for taxpayer-funded lobbying and opponent of property tax reform, sees them as little more than a never-ending source of revenue to be shaken down even further.”
“In Corsicana, we know that we work FOR taxpayers and serve at their pleasure, and our main goal is to use your tax dollars as EFFICIENTLY and SPARSELY as possible,” he added. “Perhaps it’s time for cities to rethink their ties with TML!”
The presentation caused Corsicana Mayor Don Denbow to issue a statement denouncing TML’s lax attitude towards taxing citizens.
“While this comment may have been an attempt at humor, I nor the rest of the Council regard the taxpayers as a money tree,” he said. “The reference is not humorous and is unacceptable. My sentiment has been conveyed to TML at the highest level.”
As one of the largest taxpayer-funded lobby organizations in the state, TML has long opposed taxpayers in the Texas Capitol. Earlier this year, the organization fought against property tax reform legislation, despite much of its funding coming from taxpayers themselves, through dues paid by cities.
This latest act by TML works to further highlight how callous many local officials and taxpayer-funded lobbyists are towards the citizens they claim to represent.