"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;"
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.
- 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."