Abilene budget media coverage an example of the annual fraud on Texans

Pratt on TexasSuppose you go to a favorite barbecue restaurant that had, of late, run a big advertising campaign saying that they had lowered prices. You’re a regular so you order your favorite brisket platter without a thought or bothering with the menu. And, when the bill comes the price is actually higher than you had been paying before hearing the ads that prices had been lowered.

Confused, you ask the manager why you are being asked to pay more when the ads say prices have been lowered. The manager tells you that by price, the restaurant doesn’t mean what you pay but instead means a percentage margin they put on the beef they serve. He tells you that they lowered their percentage markup but because the price of beef went up, you pay more.

After standing silent for a moment being dumbfounded, you tell him that his advertisements say that prices have been lowered and yet you, along with everyone else, are being told to pay more. He just looks at you and claims once again that the restaurant has lowered prices.

Most of us would tell him that this is fraud. To tell everyone that prices have been lowered but then charge more is an outright lie. How would you feel about such a business and its managers?

This analogy is similar to what happens most often this time of year when cities and other local governments set a new tax rate for the coming budget year.

In Abilene, for example, almost every media story reported directly, or implied, that you will pay less in property taxes next year due to all the extra sales tax revenue collected. But, when you actually read the city’s proposed tax rate [page 63, Part 4] it is a tax increase on Abilene citizens.

When and how are we going to stop this annual fraud on the people of Texas?


  1. Bob Thomas says

    The pigeons will never realize until they receive the tax bill just how much they have been plucked by their trusted , elected officials . Math skills aside, this con requires a willing civic cheerleading media in order to perpetrate the fraud. You could not have picked a better group of accomplices than the Abilene media.

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