Wednesday, April 13, 2005

That Legislature

Yesterday HJR 35 was killed in the Texas House of Representatives. Here is the caption from the bill:
Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to limit the maximum average annual increase in the appraised value of real property for ad valorem tax purposes to five percent or more.
The maximum is now 10 percent. This was Governor Perry's self-proclaimed #1 priority this legislative session. Both of Williamson County's representatives (Gattis and Krusee) were with the Governor on this issue. From what I understand -- and please feel free to clarify -- this pretty much kills all the property tax "reform" for this session. Rep. Aaron Pena followed the action live and here is how he reported it at his blog, "That's it folks for this session."

But what was this all about? To me it all goes back to what I learned growing up. My Father always taught me that there is no such thing as a tax cut, only tax shifts. But on who pays taxes he always summed it up this way, "The rich won't, the poor can't, so the middle class pays all". In otherwords the only thing that changes is who pays. Republicans are for the rich paying as little as possible and everyone else paying the rest. Democrats are for the rich to pay their fare share, which they are not doing now, and the poor and middle class still paying their share as well. The Democrats also believe in using that money to pay for things that we all benefit from.

Now the proponents of this bill say it would have lowered taxes on all homeowners therefore giving relief to all homeowners. Hmm. Ask yourself this question, what happens if your school district, city, county, etc.. Starts taking in less money because of this? I'm sure you've got the picture. Bigger classes, fewer EMT's and police, or as the Bill Analysis(.pdf) said:
Elected officials still could raise rates for property or sales taxes or for fees if more revenue were required or if priorities and needs dictated greater expenditures for public goods and services.
And who does do those taxes hurt? Why the middle class and the poor, especially. So you see it is tax "reform".

So the Governor's #1 priority is dead, what's next? Well for Rep. Gattis it's off to the Conference Committee for SB 1. Who are those Democrats on the committee you ask? Well it's Rep. Sylvester Turner (D-Houston) and Rep. Vilma Luna (D-Corpus Christi). Rep. Luna is possibly being targeted by the party and Rep. Turner is also a member of the Craddick Democrats.


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