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Ed Emmett is not a fan of SB2

So he opines.

Ed Emmett

At its core, SB 2 continues state leaders’ war against local governments. For years local governments have had to make up for the state’s underfunding of public education. But the state’s top elected officials, Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, didn’t want the public to understand that those state budget decisions were the main reason property taxes were going up. So they criticized city and county policies.

In its final form, SB 2 limits revenue growth from property taxes for cities and counties to 3.5 percent annually. School districts are limited to 2.5 percent, although implementation for school districts is delayed for two years so that for now, the state won’t have to pay an even higher share.

The bill fails to recognize that Texas counties differ widely, so an arbitrary, one-size-fits-all approach is bad policy for a county such as Harris, where almost 2 million people live in the unincorporated part of the county and so rely on county government to provide roads, flood control, parks and other infrastructure — as well as law enforcement.

To make matters worse, the state has saddled counties with unfunded mandates, particularly in criminal justice and courts. The bond rating agencies have already issued warnings that the legislation might cause Texas local governments’ credit ratings to be downgraded, which will increase the amount of interest that taxpayers pay.

So when county services or infrastructure lag behind growth, don’t blame county government. Blame the state officials who supported SB 2.

Beyond the impact on local governments, SB 2 is actually bad for homeowners because it keeps in place a complicated, convoluted property tax system. The big winners from the so-called property tax reform are property tax consultants and their clients.

It is not a coincidence that the author of SB 2, Sen. Paul Bettencourt, makes his living as a property tax consultant. Bettencourt even had the audacity to advertise his services on the radio during the legislative session while SB 2 was being considered.

Sick burn, y’all. There sure is a certain freedom in not having to run for re-election. Emmett is of course correct about the main purpose of SB2, but let’s not overlook the side benefit.

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5 Comments

  1. schirmbeck says:

    Considering his attempt to veer farther left to save his seat in November didn’t work and he publicly endorses Democrats as a sitting Republican it doesn’t surprise me that he sides with the Democrats on SB2. It also makes me a bit less likely to take his advice seriously. SB2 was a let down in many ways but the tax “cap” isn’t one of them. It should be noted there is absolutely no tax cap as this article says. The cities and school districts can raise as high as they want if approved at the ballot box by the people that are getting taxed. I don’t see how that’s a bad thing. They also get an increase every year even with the rate the same through appraisal increases and new additions to the tax roll. But considering Emmett doesn’t respect the direction of the voters on taxing and spending (Astrodome) I guess I shouldn’t be surprised he is mad they have to get voter approval for dramatic tax hikes.

    So I have a hard time

  2. Paul Kubosh says:

    Not going to read it. If he didn’t care enough to campaign hard enough to win re-election then why do I care what he has to say now? He sure never cared what I had to say.

  3. C.L. says:

    In the grand scheme of things, I’m not sure who I care less about hearing about or from, Ed Emmett or Paul Bettencourt.

  4. Joshua ben bullard says:

    Amen to that kubosh , ed emmit set on over half a million dollars. ,refused to Put signs out county wide and lost by 9000 votes = 9000 votes. His opponent spent everything she had and won ,derservingly. Ed needs to move on.

  5. Ed Emmett says:

    For the record, everyone, I said all of these things while I was judge, as did the vast majority of county officials, Republican and Democrat. And, Paul Kubosh et al, I did campaign hard, which is why I received more votes than any Republican on the ballot and lost by 19,000 votes instead of 201,000 like Sen. Cruz. When you consider the straight ticket difference was 105,000, I think Republicans should ask who kept straight ticket for 2018. The reality is simple. The top of the Republican ticket got hammered and down ballot races, particularly judges were swamped. I did not sit on funds, which is why I am filing my final campaign report this week. For me, it is time to move on. Good luck to everyone in politics. It is a fickle activity.