Taxpayers in Magnolia are celebrating a huge victory with the defeat of a proposed tax hike in a midsummer tax ratification election. Despite a propaganda campaign by school district officials, conservative activists were able to mobilize enough voters to the polls to beat the political machine.
Turnout was relatively low, with 3,284 votes cast. Election night returns showed 1,686 voting against and 1,598 voting for: a margin of 88 votes.
Rather than put the TRE on the General Election ballot, when turnout would be higher, allowing more voters to weigh in on the proposal, MISD scheduled the election for an odd date and changed the polling locations, with some being in hard to find rooms deep within the schools. With low turnout, district employees could dominate the electorate and pass the unpopular proposal.
However, a pair of conservative activists, Ginger Russell and Kelli Cook, campaigned tirelessly for weeks to alert voters.
“Magnolia ISD tried to pull a fast one on the tax payers in the dog days of summer,” said Cook. “As soon as the tax payers found out there was a tax hike election on the ballot they crawled out of their hammocks and made a bee line to the ballot box.”
Russell says taxpayers are the winners:
“Magnolia ISD worked to suppress the vote on this tax ratification election from the onset. This victory shows that every vote counts and a few people can make a huge difference on election results by informing and educating the voters.”
The results show that the reform movement in Montgomery County is continuing to gain ground. They also indicate that the tea party is a lot stronger in Magnolia than their opponents would like to believe.
“This should send a resounding message to taxing entities all over the state,” said Cook. “Property owners are not willing to be victims of bloated budgets any longer. They just drew a line in the sand by voting no.”