10.30.2012

Central Health Tax Ratification: Travis County - Proposition 1.


Prop 1 represents a 63% increase in the taxes for health services Travis County is permitted by law to collect from you, if you’re a homeowner.

The real cost  to Travis county tax payers is on average $278/Homeowner/Year, not the $9/months ($108/yr) political ads promote. Its not about funding healthcare - its about a 63% increase in the amount the County can collect because like the Federal government, they can’t seem to live within a budget.

 Read the text of the proposition here.

Prop 1 grants the County the right to collect property taxes of 12.9 cents per $100 dollars of real estate evaluation. This represents a 63% increase above current statutory limits.

Carole Keeton Strayhorn is on the air three times an hour to assure voters that ‘It’s a conservative investment’ and that it will reap ‘hundreds of millions of dollars’ back to the county.  She tells us it will only cost the average homeowner $9/month, or $108/year.

Really?

If this were true, that would mean the median price of a home in Travis County is only $83,700. The fact is that Strayhorn in only counting the amount (63%) over what the County can collect today without the voter approval. The true cost of Prop 1 is on average $278/year per home.  To be fair - the County is going to collect the first $170 from each of us next year anyway. Prop 1 is about whether we’re going to give them another $108 on top of that. (This is based an average home price of 216,000 and the tax rate of 12.9 cents/$100 evaluation).

Prop 1’s advertising with sad stories about people having to drive to Houston for medical care because we don’t have the services here are both disingenuous and misleading.  Why is it that political ads need to lie about actual costs to the taxpayer? If Prop 1 is such a tremendous benefit to Travis County residents - why obscure the real cost? What else haven’t Prop 1 proponents told us?

Prop 1 is simply about raising taxes because Travis County, not unlike the federal government, can’t seem to operate within a budget. Unlike the Federal government - Texas state law requires the County obtain your permission before it can legally overspend.

I'm going to vote ‘AGAINST’ Proposition 1.

We have to live within our budgets. So can Travis County.

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