Thursday, January 8, 2015

Liberty Cities on Display

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;"
Isaiah 61:1

Liberty Cities are a growing phenomenon in Texas, learn more below.

Art Martinez de Vara (Original mayor, Von Ormy, TX):

  • Original mayor of Von Ormy, TX
  • Liberty city = City founded on limited govt., preservation of individual and property rights, restrictions on debt, and taxing authority.
  • Becoming more popular as larger cities encroach on unincorporated areas.
  • Virtual city hall instead of brick and mortal (ie. website)
  • Privatization of public services.
  • Economic development by getting out of the way.
  • Eliminating classes of tax payers.
  • Shifting the tax burden from ad valorem to consumption taxes.
  • Avoiding restrictions on personal freedoms
  • Use of trained volunteers.
  • Zero cost permitting
  • Minimal fees for City Residents
  • Elimination of taxes or withdrawal from taxing jurisdictions that provide little or no service.
  • Zero-based budgeting
  • Aim to be under budget each year by at least 20%.
  • Whereas San Antonio has a property tax dedicated specifically to debt service, Von Ormy doesn't need it.
  • Voter approval of all public debt.
Ernest Gay (Mayor, Sandy Oaks, TX):
  • Began incorporation process in 2011.
  • Completely within San Antonio city limits.
  • 2.4 square miles without any major highways or traffic arteries.
  • Successful incorporation election in May 2014.
    • Single ballot item in a very small city
  • Elected officeholders in August 2014.
  • City of San Antonio announced a "limited purpose annexation."
  • One of their big problems is a lack of business.
    • Problem when the main source of revenue is the sales tax.
  • First big check from local power company will come in March.
  • The taxes you pay this year pays for next year's budget.
  • Set you budget relative to income rather than attempting to do vice-versa.
Robert Grafe (Kingsbury Incorporation Committee):
  • Started incorporation after Seguin tried to annex them.
  • Attempted to model their approach after Von Ormy.
  • Currently working their way through the incorporation process.
David Simpson:
  • Served three terms as Mayor of his hometown in the mid-1990's.
  • The whole reason we have civil government is because we haven't used freedom responsibly.
  • The place of government is justice, but let's use our freedom to limit government.
  • "We can incorporate and voluntarily limit our intrusiveness."
  • Limit "economic development" to commonly used infrastructure instead of bribing companies.
"Home rule" (ie. >5000 residents) can engage in "involuntary annexation."

1 comment:

  1. I love this place. I had an event here back in May last year and I felt like it was a perfect day for us! The Los Angeles event venues provides you with an event Specialist as part of your package which is extremely helpful. Plus all of us dressed up only added to the entire ambience.