Tuesday, August 18, 2020

#TXLEGE: Abbott basically revives one of our old proposals (with a tweak)

"So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart,
And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands."
Psalm 78:72

We're not necessarily for or against this proposal.  It has a lot of moving parts.  Charles Blain has good questions about practicality.  This is definitely one of those times where you're going to have to read the bill.

However, there's plenty of time for that.

In the meantime, we can't help thinking that someone once made a substantively similar proposal on a slightly different topic.

Who, pray tell, could that have been?!?
[T]here's another, much simpler, way to hold local governments' feet to the fire.

Later this session, the legislature will discuss restructuring the property tax system. The biggest policy change will likely be alterations in the "rollback" rate. "Rollback" rate refers to the point past which cities and counties have to seek voter approval to raise property taxes.

Imagine the following amendment on the property tax bill: "Any political subdivision that denies ICE detainers shall have their rollback rate set to zero."

In other words, all of their spending would be on the table...and it wouldn't require a drawn out court fight.

Swap in "defunding the police" for "ICE detainers," and Abbott is basically making our proposal from 2017.

Again, there are some rather significant practical challenges. So don't take this as an endorsement until we see specific legislative language. However, the instinct to hit intrangisent local governments on the property tax front is a commendable one.

And not just on this particular issue.

Bottom Line: Sincerest form of flattery, etc.

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