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Nothing is worse than having a fire, with no way to put it out. There is a clear public purpose to be served in using tax revenues to fight fires. That’s why people can, with a local vote, implement an Emergency Services District. These districts levy property taxes to fund fire, emergency rescue and ambulance services.

But not content with letting local voters decide tax priorities, legislators – led by Rep. Jim Keffer (R-Eastland) – want to add a new tax on all property insurance policies in the state to fund fire protection services (HB2421). So if you and your neighbors have a fire department (full-time or volunteer), which you fully fund and staff, you’ll be taxed to pay for people who haven’t done so somewhere else.

Here’s the fun part. The legislation, supposedly about funding actual firefighting efforts, is being considered by the Texas House Pensions and Investments Committee. Why? Well, because it also allows money, after the first million is raised, to go to the “emergency services retirement trust fund.”

One more tax, one more retirement plan, one more emotional plea. Someone is getting burned here…

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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