Friday, February 26, 2016

Straus, again, telegraphs lack of interest in PROPERTY TAX Reform....

"But the former governors who were before me laid burdens on the people, and took from them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver. Yes, even their servants bore rule over the people, but I did not do so, because of the fear of God."
Nehemiah 5:15

This picture merits some unpacking:

EARLY VOTER ALERT!!!Speaker Joe Straus is now campaigning with Texas House Speaker Pro-Tem Representative Dennis...
Posted by Jeff Judson for Texas House District 121 on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

So Dennis Bonnen is campaigning for Straus...which begs the next question: who is Dennis Bonnen?!?

Last session, Dennis Bonnen was the chairman of the Texas House's Ways and Means committee; that's the committee that handles major tax legislation:

As the chair of Ways and Means, Dennis Bonnen was Straus' designated hatchet man on property tax reform.  Bonnen ran point on the House's screwy sales tax plan that attempted to kill property tax relief.  When Dan Patrick stood his ground, last session's modest property tax relief was the result.

But where the story of Joe Straus, Dennis Bonnen, and Property Taxes gets really interesting concerns HB 365 (Elkins).  HB 365, captioned "Relating to the calculation of the ad valorem rollback tax rates of certain taxing units", was the primary vehicle for structural property tax relief.  On February 12, 2015 Joe Straus referred HB 365 to Dennis Bonnen's Ways and Means committee, where it died without a hearing.

Bottom Line: If you needed any more proof that Joe Straus has zero interest in structurally reforming the property tax system as long as he remains speaker, bringing Dennis Bonnen in to campaign with him during the closing days ought to be good.

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