Taxpayers vs. Spending Addicts in Abilene

The Abilene Reporter-News has a revealing piece today discussing how Abilene taxpayers support revenue and appraisal caps while local officials are frightened by the prospect.  The most eye-opening quote is:

abileneTaylor County Commissioner Chuck Statler likened the county's situation to his personal budget at home: ''If your expenses continue to increase, why would you want to reduce your income?''

Apparently, Statler never heard of trying to control the rate at which expenses increase.  His constituents however think a bit differently.

Retired schoolteacher Jimmy Pickens, said local leaders ''have no concept of what everyday working kind of people have to pay.  'It's very easy to spend other people's money.''

Abilene business owner Percy Parsons said of local governments and their ever-increasing property tax burden, "''They treat the taxpayers like it's a bottomless pit."

One point the article doesn't mention is that, under a 5 perent revenue cap, property taxes could still go up by more than that amount, but only if voters approved it, which would mean that Statler and other local government officials would actually have to prove existing funds are being spent efficiently and higher taxes are truly needed. 

The other key point that Statler overlooks is that the income of local governments would not decrease even without an election; it simply would increase at a lower rate than appraisals when appraisals skyrocket beyond 5 percent per year.

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