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Sunday, May 29, 2005

Governor Perry confirms HB3 concerns

I sent a letter to the Texas Governor (Rick Perry) to let him know my stance on HB3 that was approved by the State Senate and on its way to his desk for signing … or not.

The letter reads as follows.



“NO to HB3 !!!

This is more thieving from my wallet, and will end up a major tax increase.

Don't raise more taxes ... CUT THE OVER SPENDING !!!

Schools don't need more money per child ... they need less overpaid administration !More accounting for where the money they already get is going.

This “payroll tax” is a freaking INCOME TAX, and in Texas that is against the State Constitution. MY income has been affected yet again and not in just one-way. I can guarantee you my property taxes will end up higher in the long run. The taxes on certain items are going up, in some cases doubling the cost of those items. The businesses will have to increase the cost of everything I buy because you know bleeping full well that their bottom line will not be what they allow to take the tax hit. Etc., etc., etc.

It comes out of my pocket as an employee by not getting a raise (or a reduced one), and my cost of living has gone up yet again.”



Yesterday I received a reply in the mail. In short the letter reads …

(Paraphrased)

Thank you for your comments …

State budget data … (“…average of more than $10,000 per pupil.”)

We can do better …

Its not the money spent but the quality we are getting for the money …

Etc. etc. etc.


I would like to point out the final paragraph, which causes me concern.

“Educational excellence requires continued reforms, not simply more money poured into the same system. And not only should we improve education, we should improve how education is funded by exploring all alternative funding proposals such as reducing property taxes on millions of Texans paying the school bill. I support lower property taxes offset by improvements to the franchise tax so we have a business tax that is fairly distributed and assessed at a low rate. Other revenue options, such as raising tobacco taxes, are also being considered. A combination of the options will likely be necessary if we are to cut property taxes by as much as one-third. I believe we can make education funding more equitable than it is today, as we can do all of this without harming the engine of growth in Texas – job creation.”

Is it just me or does it sound like he is on the same page with the idiots in Austin trying to sneak this through? Why were the issues I addressed just skirted around? He mentions the concerns I raised, but doesn’t actually answer the concern?

I mention
“Don't raise more taxes ... CUT THE OVER SPENDING !!!” … he answered that we don’t need “more money poured into the same system”. Right on target, I definitely agree, but he goes on to speak of reducing the property tax bill by “one-third”. This is the same lie the thieves in Austin have been feeding us and the numbers have been proven to not substantiate. It will actually be about one-sixth maximum if any at all, and as I said plain as day, “ I can guarantee you my property taxes will end up higher in the long run”.

I contend that businesses being taxed more would “have to increase the cost of everything I buy because you know bleeping full well that their bottom line will not be what they allow to take the tax hit” meaning more out of MY pocket, but he only replies to that with “I support lower property taxes offset by improvements to the franchise tax so we have a business tax that is fairly distributed and assessed at a low rate”.

I raise the issue that more taxes on certain items would be an even larger hardship to the consumer, “The taxes on certain items are going up, in some cases doubling the cost of those items”. He responds with, “Other revenue options, such as raising tobacco taxes, are also being considered”.

There are no answers here. He actually CONFIRMS the concerns are legitimate for an individual to even have, as it appears that is what is possibly going to occur.

Here’s the bottom line on what will happen if the Governor signs this bill.

You will see your property tax (for only part of the total bill) decrease for a total savings of about one-sixth, if any.

Let us for argument sake say a $30,000 (appraised value) home currently pays $550 in property taxes. This includes a reduction of $15,000 valuation in a “homestead exemption” on the local I.S.D. tax portion only. This figure averages to be about 2% in tax.

First of all say goodbye to the “homestead exemption”, as that is part of the bill. Your new tax is refigured to be approximately $800. It is this new figure that will see the alleged “one-third” reduction. This will be approximately $240 reduced for a tax bill of $560, or $10 MORE than before. This is also before the appraisers re-evaluate your home for more than in previous years, and we all know that WILL happen.

In the meantime, your paycheck remains the same and that raise you were hoping for either does not come, or is reduced as your company has a higher tax bill to pay for employing you at all. This is assuming you have not been released from their “service” to keep their payroll budget at the current level, or if your business was to small to afford the added tax burden and closed down completely.

“I believe we can make education funding more equitable than it is today, as we can do all of this without harming the engine of growth in Texas – job creation.”
Guess again Governor Perry.

Also you are now buying items at an increased price as the businesses are forced to raise their prices to cover the expense added by their new tax burden. This is in addition to the increases in taxes ON certain items that are to be added, as in the aforementioned cigarettes, etc.

He finishes the letter with the statement,
“Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Please let me know if I may assist you in the future.” You weren’t of any assistance NOW Governor Perry, excepting to cause me greater concern over the existing dilemma.

Trust me … I DO plan to “let you know”.

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