Tax Revolt Time

RECEIVED Wed., June 10, 2009

Dear Editor,
    Central Taxus, if you're not mad as hell about your property tax rates, consider that your counterparts in another Sun Belt state, Florida, pay one-third of what you pay! From personal experience, I can tell you that life is not appreciably better here for the taxes we pay. Under current economic conditions, a property tax freeze should be immediately instituted.
    After meeting with the Travis County property appraiser's office and getting nowhere, I am fuming. Like many others, my home is being measured against outdated peak sales data. With mounting foreclosures in my area, were I to try to resell my home now, I would experience at least a 10% loss. Further, May's 9.4% unemployment data is alarming, and it fails to reflect nontabulated unemployment rolls, corporate salary cuts, the underemployed, or others who have just given up!
    It's time for bloated government wages – federal, state, county, and city – to be carefully reviewed and trimmed. If corporations can do it, so can we! The Houston Chronicle recently published a searchable list of all state employee wages. It is clear that many state workers are paid handsomely by comparison to the private sector – not even considering perks and benefits that go far beyond retirement – at our expense. My neighbor, who barely works 40 hours a week, is listed as a "manager" for the Department of Housing & Community Affairs, is not college-educated, and is paid a taxpayer-funded salary of $71,000. A further insult: The state of Texas paid out $25 million in "bonuses" in 2008 alone. Balderdash! To research state salaries, visit the Houston Chronicle site: "2008 state of Texas public employee salaries.”
    It's time for a Central Texas tax revolt, wouldn't you say?
Brady Bragg
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