No matter Austin, Texans’ tax burden will grow unless many local officials replaced

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Robert Pratt

Would that we all have the same division seen on the Plainview city council!

The Plainview Herald reports that on the first budget reading there was a big divide with the mayor and three members fighting to keep the new tax rate at 0.6312 while three council members proposed dropping the rate to 0.6288.

Why is this the council fight we should all wish for? Because the argument in Plainview is between no tax increase and a slight tax decrease. The majority supported keeping the revenue neutral Effective Rate for the coming tax year and the other three proposed an actual cut. That’s the argument we should all have at local government but few experience.

The councilman backing a lowering of the rate was Charles Starnes and he “argued that despite adopting deficit budgets in recent years following Cargill’s closure in 2013, the city has ended each year in the black. “An additional $20,000 deficit is basically $1 for each of our citizens. I think we owe that to our citizens since we will soon be asking them to increase the levy on property taxes for some much needed capital improvements,” Starnes was reported to have said by the Herald.

So, beware Plainview residents as it appears they will be coming for your pocket soon but that doesn’t diminish the fact that now, what matters to your hip-national, your council is divided between no tax increase and a slight decrease. That is laudable.

Meanwhile we see historically very large tax increases being passed in Lubbock, Taylor and Wichita counties including in most municipalities and such is the case statewide.

No matter how well legislators perform in Austin, the overall tax burden in Texas will continue to grow until voters replace local officials with those willing to live within the means of local taxpayers.

What do you think?...

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