Everything is bigger in Texas.
No, Texas doesn’t have the highest concentration of millionaires, but in terms of raw numbers, only California has more than the Lone Star State's 622,065 millionaire households.
Heck, Texas is so big it not only has two of the smallest towns with the most millionaires in the U.S. -- Andrews and Fredericksburg -- but it's also home to four of the cheapest U.S. cities in which to live. (Those would be Brownsville, Wichita Falls, Harlingen and McAllen.) On average, the cost of living in Texas is 8.7% lower than the U.S. average.
Texas is a place of extremes when it comes to taxes, too. There's no income tax at all. On the other hand, sales taxes run high, as do property taxes.
Millionaire households: 834
Total households: 11,682
Concentration of millionaires: 7.1%
Median income for all households: $56,267
Median home value: $269,900
It’s not hard to understand the allure of Fredericksburg, since it’s smack-dab in the middle of Texas Hill Country. This beautiful region of the Lone Star State has plenty to offer for both outdoorsy types and aesthetes alike. Residents can explore a landscape of rolling hills, spring-fed rivers and lakes, and vast fields of wildflowers. But they can also partake in fine dining, wine tastings, concerts and art shows.
Fredericksburg is a German town with a history of self-responsibility, religion, hard work, and charity the settlers brought with them from across the ocean to a land that allowed them freedom in all these things. The town still holds these conservative values today. The concept of "Don't fix it if it ain't broke" is why Fredericksburg has done so well.
Boot Ranch water consumption is "excessively wasteful", "not fair to the city taxpayers", "not economical to city", and if continued it would place "unsustainable demand on city"
This is what Mo Saiidi has been telling Fredericksburg City Counsel. He has been studying this issue for years. Now he has compiled the data to back it up. The following link is a .pdf of Mo's work.
You will not get this information from The Standard or City.
Do you really want to subsidize Boot Ranch?
I have been following and studying the proposed 2020 city and county budget reviews. I have made presentations supporting the argument that the proposed tax rates need to be reduced both at city and county to offset the ever-increasing property appraisal valuation. Here is why?
The proposed city and county effective tax rates (the tax rate that would produce the same revenue as the preceding year) have been declining in the past five years. The lower effective tax rate is reflective of continued increases in property appraisals along with additional new developments (residential and commercial), plus the increasing sales tax revenue. However, the city and county proposed tax rates continue to trend upward above the effective tax rates drawing even more revenues. For 2020 budgets, the proposed city tax rate is 1.83 cents and county tax rate is 3.75 cents above effective tax rates respectively. The city budget leaves $3.49m cash over the required 90-day expenditure reserve by the end of September 2020. Similarly, the county budget leaves $9.6m cash reserve, while proposing the max tax rate close to the rollback rate (the threshold rate that require voter's approval if higher).
The data indicates the proposed adopted tax rates (city and particularly county) should follow the downward trend close to effective tax rates. The fact that this year is the last opportunity to raise the property tax rate up to 8% without voter’s approval (Next year the cap is lowered to 3.5%) should not be an excuse to burden taxpayers any further. The notion that our tax rates are lower than other communities is disingenuous, since any reduction gained from lower tax rates are wiped out by higher property valuations to the point that taxpayers end up paying more in tax dollars. The citizens do deserve lower tax rates.
Mo Saiidi September 9, 2019
Google is the most powerful company in the world. They spy on you, sell your private information, lobby all the major governments in the world, and influence (Hack) elections.
STOP USING GOOGLE SEARCH ENGINE
We have stopped and now use a search engine that doesn't track. We use, and recommend, that you start using DuckDuckGo. Yes it's a silly name, but after trying it for months, we are very happy with it.
Who can you trust? It ain’t the Speaker of the House.
As the controversy surrounding Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) and Chairman Dustin Burrows’ (R-Lubbock) meeting with Empower Texans Michael Quinn Sullivan continues to unfold, Fredericksburg Tea Party takes action.
We are calling for Rep. Bonnen's resignation as Speaker of the House and hope you will join us by contacting your State Representative
They come in twos.
Let's play bad cop and worse cop, must have been the game Rep. Bonnen and Rep. Burrows wanted to play that day. The Fredericksburg Tea Party also doesn't want any member of the House to go this low, and has called for his resignation along with Bonnen's.
Many Representatives and grassroots activists have heard the tape (including our own Steering Committee). Calling for the public release of the tape will not change what is known to be on the tape. And, it's not good. We don't know why Mr. Sullivan has not released the tape yet, but it's kind of nice to not have the news spinning this event. We are going to "Clean our own House"
Last Tuesday, 8 members of The Fredericksburg Tea Party attended The State of The State presentation by Gov. Greg Abbott.
The Governor opened the speech by talking about how many people were moving in to the State, about 1,000 every day! He also mentioned the low unemployment rate and large number of companies moving their businesses to our Great State.
There were no great surprises.
The majority of the speech was centered on the five items he labeled as “emergencies”. It is important to know that when The Governor designates an item as an “emergency”, it creates a fast track for those items. The timelines and deadlines are changed for “emergencies”, allowing them to move to the front of the line for consideration in committees and on the floor.
The first emergency item is already being heard in committee and several members of FTP are testifying as I write this. Property Tax Relief and Reform (SB 2) is in committee right now. An identical bill in the House (HB 2) is in the process but public hearings have not been announced. The best guess is that during the week of 2/18, this bill will come before a House committee. If you want to testify when this reaches the House please let us know and we will help you with your testimony.
The remaining four “emergency” items are: School Finance Reform and teacher pay, School Safety, Mental Health and Disaster Response.
Abbott said school finance reform should start with teacher pay. He pointed to the successful model of the Dallas Schools, where a merit based pay system is being tried. I have heard that there are some downsides to The Dallas Model but he mentioned none of those. Of note was the idea that the best teachers should be making “6 figures”. You may recall that during his inauguration speech just a few short weeks ago, he offered a $5,000 pay increase across the board for all teachers.
School Safety – We all agree that we want our children safe in school, however be on the lookout for “red flag” laws. They may sound good but these “red flag” laws just toss the US and Texas Constitutions right out the window! Essentially, it is a removal of certain God given rights, protected by The Constitution, without due process!
Mental Health – He did not elaborate and it is up to you and me to figure out what that means!
Disaster Response – He spoke highly of the response to Harvey but said we could do better.
NOT considered to be an “emergency” by our Governor is border security. He is calling for new Anti-Gang Centers and to “fully fund our border security program”. He talked about 6 regional Human Trafficking Squads. In the “hallways” I heard talk of even more bold border security ideas. Let’s hope that this becomes an “emergency” to our Governor as we know it is already an emergency to the rest of us!
He also spoke of increasing funds for the processing of Rape Kits that are backlogged across the state. Survivors of Rape and Sexual Assault deserve their cases to be brought to trial in a timely manner.
Of note is what was NOT mentioned – The Republican Party of Texas legislative priorities. Interesting! I guess. If regular every day Republicans in the House and Senate can ignore the platform, then so can our Governor.
I was glad I attended and that FTP was so well represented.
Thank you for your continuing support. We cannot do this without your prayers and financial support.
My Humble Opinion,
If you look only at the resume of Joseph Kopser the Democrat US House candidate for our district you might think he would hold conservative values, a WestPoint graduate, an Iraq veteran, and a small business owner – but don’t let that fool you. Some of his ads even leave out his party affiliation. He is a card carrying liberal democrat who is endorsed by Elizabeth Warren, Steny Hoyer and Planned Parenthood. He is in favor of bigger government by supporting universal healthcare, paid family leave, surrender of guns , raising the corporate income tax, higher taxes, increased fee on carbon emissions, more federal involvement in water rights and control. The list is even more extensive – but the bottom line is all of these translate into more control and regulation of your lives and businesses by the federal government.
• His Republican opponent, Chip Roy also has a conservative, yet different, background, one that demonstrates positions that are for less big government control, enforcement of constitutional rights, securing the border and lower taxes. Chip previously served in several top leadership positions for Texas elected officials, State Attny General Ken Paxton. , Sen. Ted Cruz Texas Governor Rick Perry and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX).. Chip prosecuted gang members and drug runners as while serving as Special Assistant U.S. Attorney. Chip Fought alongside Attorney General Ken Paxton against federal overreach, illegal amnesty and attacks on Voter ID and the Texas Women’s Health pro-life law and also Advised former Governor Rick Perry on a conservative Texas budget, defending the 10th Amendment
Chip Roy is endorsed by Mike Lee, Louie Gohmert, Mark Levin – all strong constitutionalists. Your vote on Nov 6 for Republican Chip Roy is a vote for simplified taxes, securing the border, restoring healthcare freedom, reduced federal spending and deeply reducing regulations
If it has to be subsidized maybe it is not that great. Charles Blain, Enpower Texans writes (Oct. 10, 2018) subsidies for renewable energy in Texas has cost taxpayers more than $13 billion the last 12 years (Texas Public Policy Foundation). Negotiations for these subsidies are exempt from public disclosure due to Texas Supreme Court decisions. Citizens in Brown, Coleman, Clay, Montague and Val Verde Counties are opposing wind farms since project sponsors like to tie up a few leases and then go after the counties and school districts for tax abatements. These local subsidies are in addition to federal government supported subsidies for wind farms with taxpayer dollars.
Anyone who has traveled I-20 through Abilene, Texas, or driven US Hwy 84 between Rosco and Post, Texas couldn’t help but observe the forests of wind turbines trashing our landscapes. (The above photo is a wind farm between Clovis and Logan, New Mexico, courtesy of Al Smith). Numerous other examples can be found in the Southern Plains states. As important as being an eyesore, these wind farms take valuable agricultural lands out of production. Because there isn’t enough population to consume the electricity produced by these wind farms, large transportation lines must be constructed to deliver the electricity from its source to consumers. More land must be taken out of production to accommodate the transmission lines.
Government agencies have seen wind farm projects as a means of accumulating more land under government control. This is accomplished through Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP) President Clinton incorporated as part of the Endangered Species Act as a supposed means of speeding up the permit process. The Bureau of Land Management approved 500 wind turbines as a first phase wind project in southern Wyoming. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) approved Incidental Take permits for killing up to 14 golden eagles and 2 bald eagles per year. The project could have as many as 1,000 turbines as reported by Fox News, (Associated Press, January 18, 2017. Critical federal approvals for massive Wyoming wind project).
Earlier the Associated Press (May 4, 2016. New administrative rule would permit thousands of eagle deaths at wind farms). The Obama administration revised Federal rules allowing wind-energy companies to operate high speed turbines resulting in killing or injuring federally protected bald and golden eagles for up to 30 years. Up to 4,200 bald eagles could be killed or injured a year without penalty.
The USFWS issued the first-ever “Incidental Take” permit for the California Condor when they issued unveiled the Tehachapi Uplands Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan which encompasses nearly 142K acre HCP. Of this, 129K acres of the Tejon Ranch Company will be permanently conserved. Of note, an incidental take permit is issued for 30 years but land dedicated under a HCP is tied up in perpetuity. The HCP allows the permit holder to harass but can not kill California Condors and 24 other protected species during construction and operation of 106 wind turbines. (Tehachapi News, May 14, 2013. First ‘take’ permit issued for endangered condor).
The Endangered Species Act needs to be reviewed by Congress, not USFWS, and changes made in the legislation; especially as it relates to the use of HCPs to provide compensatory mitigation for impacts due to construction and operation of a major project. In the real world emphasis is placed on selling the landowner on the monetary value of selling land for mitigation under a HCP but glossing over the fact the landowner gives up control of their land in perpetuity. The project stakeholders need to be held financially accountable for removing the wind turbines, in their entirety, once the project is over. Abandonment of a project should not be an additional burden on the landowner or the taxpayers.
We need to request our federal and state Representatives and Senators:
- Stop federal and local subsidies for green energy projects;
- Demand the Endangered Species Act be reviewed and changed legislatively to reduce overregulation of permits created by the Endangered Species Act; and,
- Stop federal land grabs via the use of HCPs to provide compensatory mitigation.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established by a treaty via the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court signed 17 July 1998. The Rome Statute established four cases of international crimes; genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression. United Nations, 1999-2003). The statute as adopted July 1998 by a vote of 120 to 7 with 21 countries abstaining. The United States was one of the 7. Bill Clinton signed the Statute on behalf of the United States in 2000 but did not submit it to the Senate for ratification and advised George W. Bush to not submit it. The United States informed the United Nations Secretary General as of October 2017 the United States, along with other countries, no longer intended to become states parties and, as such, have no legal obligations arising from the signature of the statute.
John Bolton, National Security Advisor, Speaking before the Federalist Society, informed the ICC at the Hague the US does not recognize the authority of the ICC to trample upon the sovereign rights of American Jurisprudence. (Nemo, Stephen September 1, 2018 and Johnson, Bridget September 10, 2018). Mr. Bolton threatened sanctions against the ICC, as well as any company or state assisting in an ICC investigation of Americans. ICC judges and prosecutors will be prevented from entering the United States (Johnson, Bridget September 10, 2018).
Hillary Clinton regretted the United States was not a member of the ICC, a comment Bolton used against her in her bid for president in 2016. (Nemo, Stephen, September 10, 2018). It is important the United States maintain its sovereignty of Jurisprudence because of the number of military personnel fighting in foreign lands. Our people should not be dropped into the hands of an international tribunal for crimes that they might be accused of committing in the course of their service. US military personnel are subject to the rules and regulations of the military and are to be tried under military law for any crimes which they may be accused of committing. Foreign courts have no business in American courts; civil or military. Therefore, it is important that the US remain independent from any international courts.
Johnson, Bridget September 10, 2018. Bolton vows not to cooperate with International Criminal Court, Threatens sanctions. PJMedia. https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/bolton-vows-to-not-cooperate-with-international-criminal-court-threatens-sanctions/
Nemo, Stephen Z. September 10,2018. John Bolton, Trump Admin. Tell International Criminal Court (ICC) to stick it. Communities Digital News. https://www.commdiginews.com/politics-2/john-bolton-trump-admin-icc-105807/
United Nations, 1999-2003, Roman Statute of the International Criminal Court. Codification Division, Office of Legal Affairs.