Monday, May 18, 2020

#TXLEGE: Texas Municipal League EXPLOITING CRISIS (to push tax increases)

"By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber."
2 Peter 2:3

[Note: Obviously, since this so-called Coronavirus kerfuffle took over the news, this website has a whole bunch of new readers.  For those of y'all who weren't previously aware, it's completely legal in Texas for local governments to hire lobbyists at the state legislature.  A longer discussion of taxpayer funded lobbying is outside the scope of this blog post, but new readers can learn the history of this sordid practice here and here.]

We probably shouldn't be surprised, but still:
A new law passed last year restricts local governments’ tax rate increases to 3.5%. But it also appears to let them bypass that cap in the case of a state or federal disaster declaration in their area.

The Texas Municipal League, which represents city governments, argues that Abbott’s disaster declaration due to coronavirus triggers that section of the property tax law. Cities can increase taxes by 8% and most will not need to hold an election to significantly raise taxes next year, if they are raising money to respond to the disaster, according to TML.

[Note: Emphasis added]

Obviously, we get it.  It's who they are.   It's what they do.

That doesn't make it any less disgraceful.

Two million (plus) Texans unemployed in the past two months, but the Texas Municipal League gotta protect their cut.

Bottom Line: We never thought "Everything's bigger in Texas" included the loopholes used for tax hikes. Apparently, we were mistaken. We regret the error.

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