Tuesday, October 14, 2008

GOUGED (Groups Opposed to Unsustainable Government Education Debt), Taxpayers Oppose Increased Taxes – Voting NO on RRISD Bonds.

Contact: Kristin Jones, (949) 230-2965, Don Zimmerman, (512) 577-8842

Statements / Press Conference:
Wednesday, Oct 22nd, 2008 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Round Rock ISD central compound, 1311 Round Rock (Round Rock, TX, 78681)

AUSTIN – Groups of parents and property taxpayers and activists are meeting on Wednesday, Oct 22nd, 12:00 noon at the Round Rock ISD central compound to express opposition to November 4th ballot issues which would authorize unlimited tax increases and school debt by over 30%. The Round Rock ISD Bond seeks to add almost $300 million to an existing debt of about $680 million. Round Rock ISD taxpayers were hit with about $250 million of new debt just 2 years ago. The ballot language permits UNLIMITED TAXES to be assessed, at any interest rate, to repay the bond debt: "...and the levying of a tax in payment of the bonds and to pay the costs
of any credit agreements executed or authorized in anticipation of, in relation to or in connection with the bonds."

Says Michele Samuelson of Wells Branch Watchdogs, “"Round Rock ISD already owes taxpayers $600,000,000, 1/3 of this is in the form of interest payments from previous bonds. At this rate, the only thing we will pass on to our children is not an education, but a huge pile of local debt that our children and grandchildren will be saddled with. Our children's future depends on responsible spending policies that do not incur additional public debts."

Liz Elleson, former Round Rock ISD trustee and opponent of the failed $350M Bond issue of March, 2005, has filed an open records request for numerous documents, including for payments to Superintendent Chavez and salaried administrative (non-teaching) employees for 2007 – 2009, and for large expenditures approved on a “consent” agenda without full disclosure or debate. Liz will present facts on wasteful spending.

John Gordon, former GOP candidate for State Rep in Williamson County and opponent of the 2005 Bond, will present facts supporting the bad timing and overpricing of the Bond.

Says Craig Wilkerson, of the Williamson County Campaign for Liberty, “Most WilCo residents send their children to public school, but a growing number of parents prefer homeschooling or private schooling. It is against the principles of Liberty to force any WilCo residents to subsidize an educational system they do not utilize and philosophically reject.”

Says Pat Dixon, Libertarian Party state chairman, "As a member of city council in Lago Vista I have always worked to reduce spending and lower tax rates. … In a time when voters are threatened by federal, state, and local politicians with greater intrusion into their wallets, voters need to speak up and protect themselves."
Says Wes Benedict, Exec. Dir of LP of Texas, who had a role in defeating the March, 2005 Bond, “Taxes are already too high and we should not throw more money into government schools.”

Don Zimmerman, Republican candidate for Travis County anti-tax assessor-collector, a Round Rock ISD parent & taxpayer, adds, “The public school monopoly has given us what other government monopolies like the post office give us – marginal service at high cost. We need more school choices, not more debt and taxes.”

GOUGED includes Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, and independent voters and taxpayers working to save their homes from confiscatory property taxes.
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