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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?

 

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Property Taxes

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


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


wind

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:

 

  1. Stop federal and local subsidies for green energy projects;
  2. Demand the Endangered Species Act be reviewed and changed legislatively to reduce overregulation of permits created by  the Endangered Species Act; and,
  3. 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.