Lines in the Sand
Austin Legislators Prepare to Redraw Their Own Districts -- While Doing Business as Usual
Rep. Rick Green, R-Dripping SpringsHouse District 46 (Dripping Springs)
Capitol Office: Room E2.314
Capitol Phone: 512/463-0498
If Naishtat and Maxey represent the left of the delegation, Rick Green defines the ideological right. "I've filed several cleanup bills," Green said, "mainly involving some additional requirements for a diploma. I want the state to require an intensive study of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Founding Fathers, from first to the 12th grade, to get a diploma. I want to teach it and spiral it like we spiral math so that by the time students graduate they understand freedom, how they got it, and how we preserve it.
Another education bill Green has filed will, he said, "abolish the property tax, and require the state to fully pay for education, rather than the 47% it pays now." Revenue lost by abolishing the property tax would be made up by either increasing the sales tax, or by establishing a sales tax on all real estate transactions. "I got tired of writing a big check for property taxes," Green said. A real estate sales tax would generate an estimated $7,000 to $8,000 on the purchase of a $100,000 home, and once the home was paid off, "its owner wouldn't have to pay rent to the government.
"If we can't get the upfront tax, we will have to raise the sales tax and broaden the sales tax base," he added.
"We would also like to remove some more of Austin's extraterritorial jurisdiction," Green said. He complained that Austin uses its ETJ -- the control of development in the region surrounding the city -- in an undemocratic fashion. "It's regulation without representation," Green said. If Austin passes an ordinance that affects people living outside the Austin city limits, he says, the regulation should be voted on as a ballot item.
Green has served in the House since 1999 and has filed eight bills.