Empower Texans, September 25th, 2018, by Ashley Whittenberger
This is an outside commentary submitted and published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to email@example.com.
Many elected officials in Hays County have gotten into a very bad (and dishonest) habit of blaming others for property tax increases.
The most recent example of this is when I had a public Facebook conversation with a Dripping Springs ISD school board trustee about property taxes, and I brought up evidence for why I’m concerned about the local school board’s management of our money.
Currently, DSISD has more per-student debt than 98 percent of all school districts in the state, a staggering $76,000 per student. And in just the last year, the average homeowner in our district paid almost $500 more in school taxes.
In my social media conversation with the DSISD school board trustee, we discussed the skyrocketing taxes and alarming debt, but the trustee attempted to shift the focus onto the appraisal district and the state. In reality, the school board is the best opportunity we have to slow down these escalating school property taxes, because they have control over the budget, spending, and the tax rate. The tax rate is the controlling factor in the property tax equation. The property valuation isn’t.
It’s 2018, and the days of warm, evening sun setting on scenic Texas plains are gone for some rural areas like Comanche County. Folks accustomed to unencumbered views will have to look elsewhere. Now, those views are pierced by the sharp teeth of a wind turbine. Summer breezes have transformed into the cyclical swooshing—and occasionally loud creaking—of nearby machinery.
Yet the summer heat remains, reminding us that Texas is facing a tight energy supply—with less reliable energy sources. Three coal plants shut down this year, pulling reserves below the desired target level to meet the energy demands of scorching August afternoons. Many things led to the closures, but the profitability of coal plants in the face of billions of dollars of subsidies for renewable energy—particularly wind—is certainly among the most powerful.
Estes & Colleagues Set to Review Free Speech, Taxes & Regulatory Barriers
Committees will examine Free Speech on College Campuses, tax transparency; identify red tape stymying business
Austin, January 31 – The Senate State Affair Committee which includes Senator Craig Estes meets today at Texas State University to hear invited and public testimony to determine whether there are any restrictions on Freedom of Speech rights that Texas students face in expressing their views on campus along with freedoms of the press, religion, and assembly. “We must protect First Amendment rights and enhance the free speech environment on campus including conservative speakers even if some disagree,” said Estes.
Fellow Texan, When it comes to the Alamo, the focus must be 1836.
When asked, “Why not restore the Alamo to its 1836 appearance?”, George Skarmeas, Chief Planner of the General Land Office, always responded, “The events of 1836 were just 1 small chapter in 10,000 years of history.” How absurd.
The Alamo exists today solely because of what happened in 1836. Absent the siege, the iconic symbol of not just Texas liberty but also liberty everywhere would not exist.
We don’t need and shouldn’t seek advice or approval from any entity outside of Texas.
ARLINGTON – Gov. Greg Abbott has a plan to give Texans long-sought property tax relief.
The key, said Abbott, who is seeking a second term in office, is putting a 2.5 percent revenue growth cap on property tax dollars collected by local taxing entities – cities, school districts and counties – unless voters approve a larger amount.
Gov. Greg Abbott signs SB #2065 into law on June 11, 2015 joined by Attorney General Ken Paxton, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and authors of the bill Sen. Craig Estes R-Wichita Falls and Rep. Scott Sanford R-McKinney Marjorie Kamys Cotera
Gov. Greg Abbott, who signed a bill Thursday that allows clergy members to refuse to conduct marriages that violate their beliefs, said that “pastors now have the freedom to exercise their First Amendment rights.”
The signing ceremony for the so-called Pastor Protection Act, which goes into effect Sept. 1, was held outside the Governor’s Mansion. Abbott was surrounded by about two dozen clergy members at a news conference discussing the law. Others attending the signing ceremony included Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Attorney General Ken Paxton and Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, who authored the bill.
File-AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Rodolfo Gonzalez State Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, raises one finger to vote yes for his Open Carry Bill during the final vote held at the state Capitol Tuesday in Austin. The Texas Senate has given its final approval to licensed open carry of handguns in the state, sending the measure to the House. Open carry has been resisted by law enforcement groups, but sailed through the Senate on a 20-10 vote.
Partisan spin doesn’t usually surprise me — after almost fifteen years in politics, I’ve come to expect it from both sides in response to both triumphs and tragedies. But I was honestly surprised when, after the worst terrorist attack on our soil since September 11, the Left’s response was to blame the National Rifle Association, the Republican Party, and an imaginary class of scary-looking firearms.
*Editor’s note: This story has been updated throughout.
State Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Frisco, is making it official: He is challenging state Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls.
“They just desperately want somebody new,” Fallon said of voters in Senate District 30, which Estes has represented since 2001. “It’s been 16 years — it’s going to be 18 years. They want a change. They don’t see him around.”
State House Rep. Pat Fallon officially announced his candidacy for Texas Senate District 30 Tuesday in an interview with Weatherford Democrat news staff and criticized his opponent, incumbent Craig Estes, as “an absentee landlord.”
“Where have you been? You’ve been an absentee landlord. You’ve been asleep at the switch,” Fallon said of Estes’s 17 years in the Senate. “If you haven’t been around for years and you suddenly start showing up because you’re in a contested primary, people are going to see through it. It’s very transparent. He has squandered his incumbency because he has not been anywhere. At forums, I’m going to look him right in the eye and ask him: ‘Where have you been?’”
During the interview at the Democrat office, Fallon confirmed for the first time that he will challenge Estes in next March’s Republican primary after saying for weeks in appearances during appearances in the senate district, which includes Parker County, that he “probably” will do so.
Messages to Estes requesting comment were not returned by deadline Tuesday.