15 APR 2019 – My thanks to fellow members, Tom and Kathie Glass for their efforts to host this event, today. I appreciate the opportunity to speak on all our behalf against Property Tax. You can read the text I referenced for today’s speech below these comments.
I had some good discussions after the event with several individuals. One excellent question…, “How would we control abuse of the Consumption Tax?” Legislators ask this question, too.
I replied that Rick Cunningham, the author of HB3743 (83R), had thought that through. Although a consumption tax is a very simple, transparent tax, it is also very powerful. That’s because HB3743 applies to about 75% of the Texas GDP ($1.6T). If politicians were able to raise it even a little, it would generate billions in additional revenue. So, you can see, it’s also dangerous.
That’s why Rick wrote a constraint into the bill. The rate can only be raised by Voter approval.
Kudos, also to our member Scott Ford who spoke out against the Federal Income Tax. I was shocked to learn that Russia’s Income Tax was lower than the USA’s. WHT?
Well, guess what? Here’s another shocker (that I did know). Russia is also one of 17 countries without a Property Tax.
No Relief. No Reform. #EliminatePropertyTax
I’m Russell Bennett, founder of the Texas activist group, Eliminate Property Tax. You can join us today on Facebook to learn more about our initiatives.
Eliminating Property Tax is not a hallucination. Nor are we handing a problem to the Texas Legislature telling them, “Go fix it!”
We’re presenting a solution. It’s the only comprehensive solution to Eliminate Property Tax that’s ever been proposed to the Legislature. And it’s a solution that secures both our Liberty and our Property while still helping Texas to prosper.
In 2013, Rep. George Lavender sponsored HB3742, a 224-page bill to Eliminate Property Tax. It was the result of a detailed, 159-page fiscal analysis by my colleague Economist & Attorney, Rick Cunningham. Unfortunately, time ran out, the 83rd session ended, and we saw it shelved with no one returning to carry it forward.
Just prior to this session, we contacted every legislator about reintroducing HB3742. As a result, Rick and I met with several of them to discuss it.
We now have two legislators interested in sponsoring it. One is a Democrat Senator. The other is a Republican Representative. That’s a good thing. Because Property Tax impacts all Texans. Eliminating it is not a partisan issue.
We’re now starting to advocate the reintroduction of HB3742 in the next session. We need your participation now to help us do it.
In its simplest distillation, here’s what the bill would do.
“HB3742 would Abolish 60+ taxes (including property tax) and REPLACE them ALL with a 7% consumption tax.”
This is not adding “another new tax.” Nor is it attempting a temporary workaround that like every past reform for the last 80+ years, would fail. Instead, it restructures the Texas tax system into a simple and efficient, Consumption-based Tax.
On the simplest, macro-level, here’s how it works.
We need $80B to replace all revenue that HB3742 would abolish. Texas GDP is $1.6T. A tax rate of 7% on the whole economy would capture $112B. But we assume up to 25% would be exempt. The net is still $84B. That’s more than sufficient.
We’re advocating HB3742 because Property Tax Relief and Reform schemes have always failed. They’ve been tried over and over and over. They’ve never worked.
During the nationwide property tax revolt of the “Great Depression” politicians created the Homestead Exemption to provide relief. They implemented Sales Tax to provide reform and halt rising property taxes.
Did that stop property taxes from rising?
In more recent times, there have been Three Major Attempts. 20 years ago, the Homestead Exemption was increased but school district property taxes continued to rise. Ten years ago, a Business Franchise Tax swap was supposed to bring Reform. Instead, it brought Texans an increase in both local Property and State taxes. Three years ago, the Homestead Exemption was increased again.
Did any of that stop property taxes from rising?
Our American Abolitionists tried to gradual emancipate the slaves. It didn’t work. Every time they got close, governments maneuvered in some underhanded way to defeat the cause of right.
That’s why American Abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison, said, “Gradualism in Theory is Perpetuity in Practice.”
But that evil was overthrown. And you know it wasn’t gradual by using “Relief and Reform.”
Yet isn’t this what we’ve kept trying with Property Tax for the last 80 years?
The results have been like an Oncology Doctor telling us, “Hey, we’re going to remove just half of that tumor. Isn’t that great!”
So, what should we do? We should Eliminate Property Tax
You know trying the same thing over and over is futile. You know it will never produce a different result. But here are the most important reasons why we must Eliminate Property Tax.
– Because Private Property Ownership is central to a Free Society
– Because Property Taxed is NOT owned at all
– Because no Tax should have the Power to leave you Homeless
Did our Founders pledge their “Lives, Fortunes and Sacred Honor” to secure their “rights” to roads, schools, and public services?
You know they didn’t. Our Founders considered Property Ownership an Inalienable Right, just like Life and Liberty.
John Adams said, “Property is surely a Right of Mankind as Real as Liberty.”
He also said, “Property must be Secured or Liberty cannot Exist.”
Samuel Adams simply asked, “Now what Liberty can there be where Property is taken away Without Consent?”
Our Founders believed that if our government can take it away “Without Consent” then we don’t own either our Property or our Liberty.
That’s why last spring Texas Republicans passed Proposition One to “Replace the Property Tax System with an appropriate Consumption Tax equivalent.”
That’s why last summer 94% of 8,000 Texas Republican Party convention delegates voted to Abolish Property Tax.
That’s why, for the last 10 years, the Republican Party of Texas Platform has resolved to “Replace the Property Tax System….”
So, why aren’t we talking about how we can Eliminate Property Tax?
In 20 years, from 1995 to 2015, Property Taxes in Texas Increased 227%. How much will your Property Tax be if it doubles and then doubles again in the next 20 years?
Texans are Angry Everywhere about Outrageous Increases in Property Tax and the Corruption it fosters.
But the Increasing Theft and Misuse of Our Money is NOT the Primary Problem.
It’s the Civil Tyranny and Unconstitutional Violation of our Natural Right to Own our Personal Property.
George Washington delivered the following message to the Continental Army. While looking out into New York Harbor, they saw, forming against them, the largest British expeditionary force in that nation’s history until the First World War.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them.
The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance or the most abject submission.
We have, therefore, to resolve to Conquer or Die.”
Join us today on Facebook. Thank you.