GOP race for Lubbock County Judge matters all the way to Austin

Pratt on TexasAmong the most interesting local courthouse races coming in the 2018 Republican Primary Election is that for county judge of Lubbock County. The race has shaped up in a manner that makes it important all the way to Austin.

Paramount among issues related to voters, state government, and local government has been the issue of property tax reform, appraisal value creep, and local government budgets growing at a rate far faster than inflation or population. The Lubbock County judge race, if the campaigns are competent, will be a microcosm of the statewide raging political fight and could ultimately be influential in the next legislative session.

The Lubbock race seems to reflect the let ’em spend all they can side; the middle-ground of some reform, and; authentic, effective property tax reform that will slow local budget bloat.

Lubbock County, like many, has ballooned its budgets for over a decade by taking in vast amounts of new money through rising appraisal values while using the old lie of leaving the tax rate the same most years to fool people into thinking revenues are flat. It is a poster child for why we need caps on local property tax increases that if exceeded give taxpayers a vote on increased taxing and spending.

The open seat judge race in Lubbock County has three challengers who well represent, generally, the three sides of the property tax reform issue.

Lawyer Curtis Parish seems to oppose legislators’ action to reign in local tax increases; city councilwoman Karen Gibson has shown some agreement with lower caps and letting the people vote on such but hasn’t objected much to officeholder pay increases and other spending, and; businessman Gary Boren is one of Texas’ original property tax reform warriors who successfully, a rare thing, achieved pro-taxpayer results as a school board and city council member.

The Lubbock race seems to reflect the let ’em spend all they can side; the middle-ground of some reform, and; authentic, effective property tax reform that will slow local budget bloat. The race matters beyond Lubbock County.

What do you think?...

© Pratt on Texas / Perstruo Texas, Inc.