April 2008

Austen in Austin?

If there’s such a thing as a one-man think-tank, Austen Furse might qualify. He’s a reliable conservative and excellent businessman with political credentials stretching from Matagorda County to the White House. He’s also the only person to have now...

No Control For You

Republicans seeking to make substantive policy reforms face as their chief obstacle, all too often, Republican elected officials. These “Republicans” like to say they believe in fiscal restraint and local control – just not when it stands in the way of...

Insurance Bad, Government Good

Breathlessly reported by the Austin American Statesman is a report showing that — gasp — health insurance premiums rates have risen 39.7 percent since 2001. Of course, state government has grown more than 30 percent since ’01 but the Statesman...

Getting Serious On Property Taxes

A special House committee was formed this week to address the state’s out-of-control property taxes. House Speaker Tom Craddick appointed some of the Legislature’s strongest fiscal conservatives to the committee. After numerous false starts over the years,...

Travis County Appraisals Skyrocket

At a time of record foreclosures and declining home values, someone forgot to tell the Travis County appraiser. Values were posted minutes ago and my home rose a whopping 19.3%, sending my school property tax cut up in smoldering flames. However, values are up 31% in...

Someone’s Paying Attention

At least Susan Combs is paying attention to the needs of the state’s economy. With businesses struggling to understand, let alone pay, the confusingly complex new business tax, Comptroller Combs announced she’s giving everyone an extra month to make sense of...

More Taxes Just Dandy?

Isn’t it funny that the Dallas Morning News keeps trying to raise sales taxes to fund more mass transit boondoggles, and yet they and their cronies in the newspaper industry lobby against efforts to tax their product? They want to let cities hike sales taxes to...

Not So Fast Eddie!

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Dallas) today called for increasing both the state and federal gas tax, citing a lack of transportation funds. Yet 43% of the state gas tax is being diverted to non-transportation items and an increasing share of federal gas tax...

Did You Know Texas Cities Can Tax Leased Cars?

Even we have trouble keeping up with all the different taxes and fees and today we learned that a 2001 law passed by the Legislature allows Texas cities to impose property taxes on leased cars. The Galveston Daily News reports that League City collects $243 per year...