Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Naishtat, Watson plan Travis Tax Hike

Remember in 2004 when the Hospital Taxing District was shoved down the throats of County-wide taxpayers (Austin voters were already paying) by the liberal (can you say socialists) voters of Austin? Well, they’rre baaack!

Clarke Heidrick, the Board Chairman of the Travis County Healthcare District has gleefully talked Elliot Naishtat (who never met a tax he didn’t like) and our newest State Senator, Kirk Watson (no enemy of taxes either) to sponsor companion pieces of legislation. Senate Bill 1107, which has already been passed out of the Senate State Affairs Committee, and House Bill 2378, which will be heard this week by the House County Affairs Committee, will allow Mr. Heidrick to reach further into our back pockets to get whatever money he and his high-priced cohorts want to fund their little social experiment.

Remember this Taxing District was supposed needed to keep the People’s Republic of Austin Hospitals from losing money caring for “indigent patients” – can you say “Illegals”? You and I (responsible taxpayers with medical plans) pay for our services on a pay-as-you-go system. The District needs more of our money to pay for other people. According to one press release from the committee promoting the passage of the initiative during the May 2004 local elections:

“The proposal would hold property taxes steady for Austin residents, who pay 5 cents per every $100 property valuation for healthcare costs, and raise taxes for county residents from 1 cent to 5 cents per $100 valuation, equal with the City of Austin rate.”

The current rate is 7.34 cents/$100 valuation. So the lies continue... Here’s another lie from the Statesman Article:

“Heidrick said that the board has no immediate plans to use any new taxing authority, but district officials have said they are constrained by having the lowest property tax rate of any urban hospital district in Texas.

Constrained” from doing what? Spending our money?

This Bill is an end-run abound the stopgap measure of "rollback elections", giving the Travis County HD another avenue for increasing taxes.

We need to stop this. This is the membership of the County Affairs Committee:

House Committee on County Affairs (C210)

Clerk: Travis Sampley

Legislature: 80(R) - 2007

Phone: 463-0760

Appointment Date: 1/26/2007

Room: EXT E2.122




Rep. Wayne Smith

Vice Chair:

Rep. Elliott Naishtat


Rep. Valinda Bolton

Rep. Garnet Coleman

Rep. David Farabee

Rep. Patricia Harless

Rep. Joe Heflin

Rep. David Leibowitz

Rep. Todd Smith

If you know any of these legislators contact them and tell them to stop HB 2378 in committee. Contact Rep Wayne Smith, Chairman @ (512) 463-0733 and ask him to kill the bill. Contact your Senator or any Senator you know and ask them to vote against bringing SB 1107 to the floor, and to vote against the bill if it is brought to the Senate floor.

- Pat O'Grady

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