Though Donald Trump’s margin of victory was shocking to many of those watching election returns, perhaps the biggest surprise was down in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley where voters rejected a proposed hospital district that would massively increase taxes.
Hidalgo County taxpayers already pay the highest county tax rates in the state—an exceptionally heavy load given the county’s high poverty rate—but Proposition 1 could have raised taxes even higher.
First proposed two years ago, the hospital district was narrowly defeated with almost 52% of border county’s voters voting against, despite the majority of local lawmakers supporting the measure.
After that defeat, local officials as well as the area’s state delegation such as Democrat State Sen. Chuy Hinojosa and State Rep. Bobby Guerra got serious about the issue and mounted an aggressive marketing campaign to sell the issues to voters.
Political bosses pulled out all the stops—they launched a rebranding initiative to turn the hospital district into a “healthcare district,” and poured over $1 million into a PAC which funded generous donations to local officials and an impressive advertising campaign.
In turn, many local officials campaigned heavily for the ballot measure to pass and even established polling centers at hospitals in the district—a move that prompted conservative citizens to file suit.
Yet despite their efforts, Hidalgo County voters rebuked them stronger than ever with almost 72% of voters voting against the proposition.
For Hidalgo County citizens, the defeat is a major win for their wallet and their community—showing that voters aren’t simply sheep that blindly follow those in positions of power.
But it’s also yet another clear example of how Democrat officials will almost always support efforts to unnecessarily grow government and further punish the hard-working people they claim to represent.