City of Lubbock joins Houston and other local jurisdictions in pushing citizens to turn to Austin to fix local problems

Pratt on TexasAcross Texas advocates, or rather those who profit through local government spending, have been screaming bloody-murder about legislators taking actions to tighten restrictions on how local government treats taxpayers and citizens.

The reasons for these legislative actions is not simply because local government is a creation of the state and thus always subject to limits by the Legislature but, because local citizens are demanding their state officials step in to stop what is felt by many to be the movement toward ever expansive local government with growing deafness by officials to economic realities faced by citizens who live under their jurisdiction.

local citizens are demanding their state officials step in to stop what is felt by many to be the movement toward ever expansive local government with growing deafness by officials to economic realities faced by citizens who live under their jurisdiction.

The City of Lubbock is a prime example of what is driving the legislative push to limit the scope of action of city councils.

Recently Lubbock’s city council decided to buy an empty high rise office building and refurbish it into a new city hall with a price of sixty- to one-hundred million dollars. They issued the debt through certificates of obligation, CO’s, without a vote of Hub City residents creating much ill will. The project is the type that has historically been done with a public bond issue vote.

Now, the same group has gone much farther in turning a deaf ear to citizens and depriving them of their right to decide on major debt.

Lubbock’s council voted to fundamentally change how the city organizes its most basic service: policing. The council voted to exclude citizens and began a process of issuing CO’s of around sixty-million dollars to build a new police headquarters and other facilities including regional police stations.

it will add 5.6% to the current local property tax rate

Not only is this another massive amount of debt but the three cents the council says it will add to the tax rate is a local property tax increase of 5.6% over the current rate which will also no doubt grow in coming years.

The project may be wholly worthy but citizens should have the say through a bond vote but will not. They’ve been frozen out and this is what drives people around Texas to demand action through Austin.

What do you think?...

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