Texas’ pols can often be found busily rewriting history in advance of their ongoing campaigns; nothing new there, but, still, taxpayers should expect better. Having been confronted with the legislature’s well-known inaction on the $14.3 billion surplus, some politicians are realizing that their decision to keep-it-not-return-it has taxpayers, well, disgruntled.

That lawmakers continued to devote the revenues of the business tax to the promised property tax rate reduction shouldn’t be all that brag-worthy; shouldn’t we expect them to follow through on their promises?

Some politicians are suggesting that the state’s surplus was “taken off the table” and dedicated for future property tax relief. But it was placed in a fund that isn’t constitutionally dedicated, which means the legislature can spend it, without problem, on anything they desire the next time they meet.

Lawmakers have a bad track record when it comes to dedicated funds, even those constitutionally dedicated. The state’s “Fund 6” is constitutionally dedicated for transportation, yet over the years billions have been allocated for other things. Likewise, there are countless small funds the legislature has used over the years to balance the books or increase spending.

Taxpayers should get relief when the surplus is found, not when it’s convenient for politicians.

The value of future property tax relief is preciously the value of a politicians’ promise. Care to price that on eBay?

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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