Ending giveaways to corporate interests

Does giving taxpayer dollars to a solar farm that plans to clear cut thousands

of acres of forest in Bastrop County make sense to you? It already happened

in Rosanky. It's about to happen south of Elgin unless the Elgin ISD has the

good sense to refrain from this terrible deal that also threatens neighbors with

flooding!

Besides all that, we do not need to keep wooing more companies and people

to move to Texas. For crying out loud, let the real estate market cool off.

 

Let’s focus on getting the hogs out of our public trough, folks!

 

I believe subsidies should only be used in rare cases for national security and for

addressing poverty – with strong local training and hiring guidelines. The Legislature

and many government officials have shown they cannot be trusted giving public

subsidies and then policing them. 

 

This is why I want to allow Texans the right to vote to repeal subsidies that involve

billions in giveaways to corporate giants and flim-flam startups. Texans should be

allowed to vote to reverse HJR 4, passed by a narrow 1.65% margin of Texas voters in

1987. This constitutional amendment gave Texas government broad powers -- too much

power -- to carve subsidies that make no sense and represent extreme taxpayer abuse.

(Read my article, "Samsung Snooker Subsidies.")

 

Speaking of taxpayer abuse. Did you catch the hundreds of last-minute applications involving billions of dollars seeking notorious 

Chapter 313 subsidies, i.e. property tax breaks on school taxes, before this program is supposed to end in 2022? A start-up company has applied to the Elgin ISD for $20,000,000 to subsidize a solar farm that will clear-cut 2100-4,000 acres of heritage forest! In 2011, Bastrop County was the scene of the most destructive fire in Texas history. We lost 1.5 million trees.

 

The Texas Comptroller, Glenn Hegar, speaking recently to Bastrop constituents, said that we could simply defeat this deal at the school board. Good luck with that, since the Legislature set up subsidies to lure school boards into these stinky deals with additional revenue. (Read LIV's article about this here.) Our citizens in Rosanky lost to a narrow vote of the Smithville ISD for a similar "deal" resulting in clear-cutting 1200 acres. So wrong!

I will work with many like-minded legislators to take a shovel to this bull-pucky. Otherwise, you might expect the worst of public subsidies – Chapter 313s – to be renewed in the 2023 session. 

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