On the Issues
Although securing our borders is a federal responsibility, Texas is obligated to protect the safety and well-being of its citizens. Texas must act now to aid our law-enforcement officials on the border and restrict government handouts to those who have entered our country illegally. If Oklahoma can get tough on illegal immigration, so should we. Politicians have talked about this problem for years, but they do nothing once they get to Austin. It is time to walk the talk.
Government appraisers are under tremendous pressure to increase the appraised value of your home for tax purposes. I favor eliminating annual appraisals and using the value of your home when you bought it. This will put the pressure back where it belongs–on the politicians who set our tax rates.
The Texas Legislature authorizes a state budget every two years. In 2005, the legislature increased spending by 19 percent and, in 2007, by 20 percent. This spending far outpaces any increases in population and inflation. In fact, the last session of the legislature exceeded the constitutional spending cap for the first time in history. We must reign in spending now.
The Texas Legislature has a big appetite for your money. But, in 2005, you were promised a $2,000 property-tax cut. I didn’t get mine; did you get yours? What happened? With increased tax appraisals, the money was all but gone before the cut even took effect. And guess what’s coming? A new “business income tax” in 2008. And who, ultimately, will pay that “business” income tax? That’s right, you. We should reject any income tax, whether charged to businesses or to us personally.
In 2003, the Texas Legislature passed the buck on college tuition and allowed state universities to set their own rates. After the legislature abdicated its responsibility, college tuition in Texas went up an average of 43 percent. It is up 104 percent at the University of Texas and 65 percent at the University of Houston. This has made it even more difficult for working families to send their kids to college. The legislature needs to step up to the plate and help make college affordable again in Texas.