If you aren’t ducking arrows…

Gcounty…You haven’t found the battle
Cheryl E. Johnson, RTA
Galveston County Tax Assessor Collector
Being a fiscal conservative and taxpayer advocate often places on in the line of fire of opponents of lower taxes and smaller government, particularly in Austin and especially from impostors who sustain the lingo only long enough to get elected. One would think, after 21 years of ducking arrows that I would get used to it but I never have.

The most incredible thing I repeatedly overhear (from otherwise limited government, free market, conservative elected officials) is how best to spend their money at budget time. When overheard, I remind the official that it is not their money – it is the taxpayer’s money and they would be well served to remember that when preparing a spending plan (otherwise called a budget). Just the words, ‘spending plan’ evokes thoughts of waste – the antithesis of true conservatism.

As many local governments proceed this spending cycle, citizens would be well served to pay attention and participate in the process. Property values are higher than ever in many areas of the county and revenues will be plentiful if tax rates are not lowered or exemptions increased. Below is my best guess on how much rates could fall in some areas assuming that 90% of the GCAD appraised value increases are certified:

Galveston County: -$0.04
Bayou Vista: -$0.05
Dickinson: -$0.02
Galveston: -$0.07
Hitchcock: -$0.02
Jamaica Beach: -$0.05
Kemah: -$0.01
Santa Fe: -$0.03
Tiki Island: -$0.05

Voters, taxpayers, and watchdogs of government waste, join the battle and prepare to duck arrows when you dare to demand fiscal responsibility. Remember what Ronald Reagan told us, “The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.”

(This article published 7/13/2015)

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