Local option transportation tax defeated in Texas

Peggy Venable:

Taxpayers are the big winners as the so-called “local option” transportation tax fails to make it onto the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) Sunset legislation. Even high-priced taxpayer-funded lobbyists and local elected officials descending upon the Capitol for a last-ditch effort couldn’t put lipstick on this pig.

House bill sponsor Rep. Vicki Truitt spoke out – via a letter – chastising the conservative groups which helped kill the local option tax. We conservatives usually like local options. But not when the cards are stacked against taxpayers.

Americans for Prosperity-Texas opposed this local option tax. Local officials don’t need more taxing authority – or the ability to put more tax increases on the ballot – until they agree to an automatic rate rollback election. But local government officials and their associations didn’t want taxpayers to have the opportunity to determine how much government we want and are willing to pay for – unless we want MORE government and agree to higher taxes to pay for it. Taxpayers deserve the right to LOWER property taxes when the appraisals increase more than 5% (or even the current 8%).

What’s fair is fair. Deny taxpayers the opportunity to lower taxes and taxpayers should not agree to any opportunity for local tax spenders to raise taxes. (Ways and Means Chairman Rene Olivera promised his friends at the Texas Association of Counties that he would not allow a revenue cap out of his committee, and he did not. Our contention is that cost DFW a local option transportation tax).

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There is more.

The appraisal/tax increases need to be capped period unless the property has had improvements added during the appraisal period. Otherwise it is just a stealth tax increase without going through the notices and vote required for increasing taxes.

Conservatives did a stand up job in stopping another back door attempt to raise taxes.

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