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Pigs, Politicians, and Property Tax Reform

Published in Blog on February 05, 2019 by William Collins

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While walking through the zoo last week I came across an exhibit of Sus scrofulous domesticus, aka domestic pigs.

It started me thinking about how much these animals have in common with our present day politicians. I know that all politicians are not big government liberals, magnum imperium liberales, but many are. I was amazed at the similarities.

For example: pigs love to jump in mud and sling it everywhere when the heat is turned up on them. If allowed politicians will devour more and more tax dollars resulting in 20 trillion dollar deficits and pigs will constantly eat until they reach gargantuan size. For instance, in 2009 a porker named Big Norm, (Hubbardsville, New York), weighed in at 1,600 lbs.

Pigs, like politicians, have poor vision resulting in poor strategic decision planning. Finally pigs are one of the most cunning animals on the planet...just like politicians.

It’s no wonder that pig terminology has been applied to government for centuries. Constituents expect their representatives to “bring home the bacon” with “pork barrel spending.” Legislators refer to passing legislation as “sausage making.”

This brings me to the current session of pig squealing that is currently taking place in Austin, Texas. Every year the Texas Legislature meets for 140 days to address the needs of the state. This year property tax reform is one of the biggest issues being addressed.

Not surprisingly big government liberals are squealing like stuck pigs. When it comes to spending I have found that whether one cuts a government budget or cuts a pig the same result occurs...lots of squealing.

Big government types never think in terms of cutting the budget or becoming more productive with existing assets. In fact, in "government speak," a “cut” usually means cutting proposed tax increases, not actually reducing taxes themselves.

Presently state and local governments can raise taxes at will as long as they stay below an 8% increase. If they go above this they must hold elections...but they can hold these elections at any time. Most times this results in very low voter turnout giving the increase a much better chance of approval.

What has been the result of this piggish approach to setting property tax? From 2013 to 2017 Dallas raised property taxes an average of 33%. Shortsighted actions like this result in low income families and retired people on fixed incomes losing their homes.

Governor Abbott and many legislators made election promises to fix the runaway property tax problem. This year the House, Senate, and the governor are all proposing to lower the trigger that requires voter approval for tax increases from 8% to 2½%.

This change would not keep legislators from raising taxes as high as they deem necessary but it does force them to seek approval from the people before doing so. In addition to this when voter approval is required legislatures must hold elections in November when turn out is usually much higher.

All in all the proposal to change the trigger point from 8% to 2½% is a great improvement but to make it happen we need your help. If you agree with Governor Abbott on this issue contact him and your state representatives and tell them to support it. Also contact COS for ways to help.

In conclusion there is one more similarity we should add to the pig/politician comparison. The average life expectancy of a pig is about 12 years. Just about the same amount of time we would like to set on term limits.

For more information go to: Matthew Krause on Tax Reform - Facebook

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