Make your choice

May 22, 2018

Since there is no republican candidate in the county judge race we will pick our next county judge in today’s election.

Our choices are:

  • A former mayor
  • A political newcomer who has not learned how to run our lives yet

Please vote.

Almost as bad as you can get

May 4, 2018

Well things are getting measurably worse.

In 2014 we had the 5th highest effective residential property tax rate among the 50 largest cities in the United States.  See 5th highest taxes.

In 2015 we had the 3rd highest.  See Climbing to the top.

For 2017 we were the 2nd highest.

Remember that most of the quality of life bonds have not been issued yet nor have most of the school district bonds.

We deserve better


Things are quiet at the county hospital

April 29, 2018

We don’t hear much about our county hospital lately.

Could it be that we have an honest, competent administrator over there now?

We deserve better


Slight of hand

April 23, 2018

Our central appraisal district has re-appraised all of the properties in the county.

Many homeowners are seeing their appraised values going up.  State law limits the amount of the increase to 10% of last year’s appraisal.

A common misconception is that property tax bills will automatically go up as a result of an increased appraisal.

Actually each taxing entity is required to calculate the “effective tax rate”.  From the state comptroller’s web site:

The effective tax rate is the rate the taxing unit needs to generate about the same amount of revenue it received in
the year before on properties taxed in both years.

Thus if every homeowner’s appraisal goes up 5% the effective tax rate will have to go down 5%.

Where one might see a tax increase is if their home value goes up more than the average increase of all of the other home owners.

When our local elected officials publish their new tax rates don’t make the mistake of looking at the rate (percentage) they publish.

If home values go up 5% and the taxing entity’s rate stays the same as last year they are increasing taxes 5% even though the rate is the same.

We deserve better


Hiring a bully

April 21, 2018

In both the political and business worlds we are unfortunately seeing more situations where the power of government is used to oppress someone’s opponents.

We see it at both the national and local levels.

Adversaries used to fight in their own arenas but now some are involving government to crush their opponents.

We deserve better



What law?

April 20, 2018

From what we can see our local central appraisal district is the only local government that obeys this Texas law:





Sec. 2265.001. RECORDING AND REPORTING OF ELECTRICITY, WATER, AND NATURAL GAS CONSUMPTION.  (a) In this section, “governmental entity” means:

(1) a board, commission, or department of the state or a political subdivision of the state, including a municipality, a county, or any kind of district; or

(2) an institution of higher education as defined by Section 61.003, Education Code.

(b) Notwithstanding any other law, a governmental entity responsible for payments for electric, water, or natural gas utility services shall record in an electronic repository the governmental entity’s metered amount of electricity, water, or natural gas consumed for which it is responsible to pay and the aggregate costs for those utility services. The governmental entity shall report the recorded information on a publicly accessible Internet website with an interface designed for ease of navigation if available, or at another publicly accessible location.

We deserve better


Is it because we are blue?

April 7, 2018

A regular reader sent this in:

Are El Paso taxes higher because we are a blue county?

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