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Guest Editorial: Rhinos Down South

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Under stress, the political species reverts to its basest instincts: Soak the public. If it moves, tax it. I think the easiest decision that politicians can make is to raise taxes. It suits their interest.

Ellis County’s elected county leadership –– that is, the county judge and four commissioners –– in a 3 to 2 vote, raised taxes by voting for a budget that will require a tax increase in a recession. Much of the extra need for your cash is temporary and caused by some reversals and further potential reversals in lawsuits brought by Holcim company against the County Appraisal District as well as taxing authorities including Ellis County. 

The tax increase, however, unless rescinded at a future date, will be permanent. 

The troika of County Judge Carol Bush, Comm. Heath Sims and Comm. Bill Dodson chose to vote that your money is their money. Comm. Ron Brown and Comm. Dennis Robinson opposed. Obviously, Bush, Sims and Dodson see those who elected them, at best, as sheep to be fleeced, if not as outright lamb chops. We the voters tend to feed that expectation, for too often we act like sheep.

The troika also know that few people vote in the Republican primary, where most political things are settled in Ellis County. 

Only two of our current county officeholders, a constable and a justice of the peace, are Democrats, after all. Therefore, if you win the Republican primary in Ellis County, you win the office. That could change if we continue to have officeholders act and vote like Obama or at least Clinton Democrats. 

Consistently, our more pragmatic Republican officeholders know that each county employee in their department represents multiple votes for them in any primary election. 

After all, the whole family and some friends want to keep Uncle Joe employed even if Uncle Joe is not the world’s best worker. It works that way in Chicago, too. Many, if not the great majority, of county employees earn their money. 

I appreciate them, but the slackers and worse need to hit the bricks. 

The county court decided to lay off a whole eight employees in order to save money, less than 2 percent of the payroll. 

I personally know of at least three to four more who should be doing something else other than insulting taxpayers or far worse. I’m sure there are others. One commissioner indicated to me that most of the layoffs as well as the tax increase could have been avoided altogether if other funds had been on the table.

In short, there are more than eight employees of this county who we can do without. Everyone knows that. We have between 478 and 550 county employees. The fact that those numbers are inexact is a story for another day.

The proposed tax increase will amount to a $28.42 increase “on the average homestead,” which is valued at $136,801 according to an article in the Thursday edition of The Waxahachie Daily Light. 

We once had a county judge slam through a tax increase on the basis that it was only a hamburger’s worth to the taxpayers every week or so. This tax increase is even less, but we are talking about your $28.42. 

I was raised to believe that your money is your money, and that means that it is not my money nor county government’s.

Ronald Reagan said that government is rarely the solution, but it appears that we have a majority on the Ellis County Republican commissioners court who see that concept as dated. 

The troika represent a new breed of Republican that could care less about the taxpayers or the party platform. It seems that our Republican officeholders have taken a page from Barack Hussein Obama. After all, it is just a little tax increase, and as our current commander in chief has said, we need to spread some of your money around, taxpayer. The troika think this way, too.

The final vote on the tax rate will be held this Monday night, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. in the old courthouse. 

Editor’s note: See front page story, “County tax hike.”

This column was first published in a slightly different form in the Waxahachie Daily Light and DallasBlog.com.


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