Tax Relief

LETTERS: Might 7 propositions provide some, if not a lot, property tax relief | letters

Yes on propositions

This week, property taxpayers in McLennan County are looking forward to (yeah, right, like going for oral surgery) receiving the yearly notice from McLennan County Appraisal District. This yearly notice, according to the Waco Trib, may indeed increase property values ​​by upward of 30%. Yikes! Property taxes in the Lone Star State are on an alarming upward spiral, making it difficult for all property owners, but particularly seniors.

State Sen. Brian Birdwell sent a legislative update that included a review of the two property tax relief constitutional amendments to be voted on May 7. Birdwell’s legislative recap quotes: “One group of Texans did not receive this proposed reduction. Those with an over 65/Disabled exemption.” huh? Of all the tax payers not to help? He further noted that mysteriously funds became available to include it on the May 7 ballot.

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The proposed proposal no. 1 is so confusingly and incoherently written that it makes a voter’s head spin. The Waco Trib printed a public notice in the March 8 edition noting both Proposition 1 and 2 for the May 7 special election. Proposition 2 is simply written and offers an increase in the homestead exemption for property taxpayers. Proposition 1, despite it appearing to be a bunch of legal, legislative, horrendously written jargon designed to confuse voters, does provide minimal property tax relief for those who are over 65 and disabled. Both these propositions provide some, although limited relief. I encourage a yes vote on both propositions.

The other option for McLennan County property owners is to file a protest with the appraisal district. Property tax relief must become a priority for our local and legislative leaders.

Dark money flows

How rich of Nancy Pelosi to chastise a member of the House of Representatives for breaching public trust regarding his lying to the FBI concerning illegal foreign contributions to his campaign. Is she not aware that most members (especially the seasoned ones) regularly rake in contributions from foreign donors?

The Supreme Court ruled that super PACs can withhold disclosing their donor lists and then spend obscene amounts of money to campaigns, under the guise that such disclosure violates the First Amendment right of donors. Effectively, super PACs are a handy workaround to federal campaign finance laws which candidates of both parties regularly utilize. If anything, Nebraska Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, who resigned after being convicted of a felony, is guilty of not doing a good enough job hiding these contributions through these lovely mechanisms.

I will never refer to millions in campaign contributions as a donation, because they are more aptly an investment, with an expected return on such. Though the super PACs don’t disclose “donor” lists publicly, I’m willing to bet that the elected members who receive funding for their campaigns know where the bulk of that cash comes from.

It’s high time that we amend the Constitution to prevent dark money from finding its way to our elected individuals, so that we, the people, may know where their interests lie.

Samuel Culper III, Bellmead

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