Editor's note: Thursday, May 4 will be the last day the Denton Record-Chronicle will publish letters related to the May 6 elections.
PAC formation interesting
Isn't it interesting that a Political Action Committee (PAC) was formed to fight a tax-limitation benefit (not elimination) in city taxes for disabled and senior citizens? You may have noted the "vote no" signs around town. We read letters stating the reduction will affect the ability to attract new job-creating business, compromise the future prosperity of our city, hand tax burdens to children and grandchildren, and will be unfair to young families.
We are to deduce that seniors are rich and selfish, and that young families are poor and struggling. Funny, when I drive around town, I see mostly modest older homes where I would guess a majority of our seniors live -- our parents and grandparents who once had young families themselves. And I see young families living in some pretty nice modern houses. Judging by the construction going on, it appears to me that business is doing very well in Denton, lots of taxes there.
Perhaps it would have been better for the community if opponents of a small benefit for disabled and senior citizens had donated their dollars to local charities rather than to a Political Action Committee.
Tax freeze is reasonable
After some consideration, I've concluded that those who oppose the property tax freeze for those over 65 or with a disability are either class warriors or politicians. Yes, it's true that some of the people who are over 65 have nice houses. However, most of us are just regular middle class retirees.
In our case, our assessment has increased by about $25,000 in the last couple of years. The value of your house going up is a good thing -- unless you have no intention of selling and you are living in your last house. Then all it does is raise your taxes. And, if you're living on a fixed income, that's a bad thing.
Politicians always want more of our money, but I'm going to insist that they have to live within my means. It's true, as more people move into Denton, more services will be required. However, as more people move into Denton, more people will be paying taxes to pay for those services.
I believe it's perfectly reasonable to limit the tax liability of those on a fixed income and to expect our politicians operate within those parameters.
Don't pick on Robson
I think it is about time you get off your high horse and look at the facts and try not to pick on Robson Ranch. We pay the city tax and do not get any services. We shouldn't pay the city tax in the first place. There are many high-budget neighborhoods in the city of Denton besides ours so why are you not picking on them?
The only reason you pick on Robson is it is a united community with a lot of power when it gets together to support an issue. Nowhere in Denton does a group generate the power of Robson Ranch and you pick on us because we have unity.
I am sure there are many homeowners 65 and older that want this freeze and do not have the power to make this possible. Robson Ranch supports the whole 65 and older population on this issue. It would be nice if you were not so biased on this issue and helped all the 65 and older population that really needs it.
Prop 1 will help all
I've appealed to DCAD to lower the value of my home and lower my taxes for the past 13 years. Most people I've met on those journeys are senior citizens like myself living on fixed incomes.
In November I joined the movement to place the property tax freeze placed on the May ballot. I have read the letters lately stating how only the rich will benefit and how children and grandchildren will suffer. Let's look at the following:
1. Robson Ranch residents represent 15 percent of the over 65 and disabled group. That means 85 percent of Denton residents over 65 and disabled would benefit from Prop One. The tax freeze will help all of Denton, and more than 270 Texas cities have already implemented property tax freezes to bring relief to seniors and disabled citizens.
2. This is not going to be passed down to your children and grandchildren to pay. We have a new city manager and auditor who are operating on a $114 million dollar budget. The tax freeze yearly cost is approximately $200,000. I believe our leaders can find $200,000 in savings. Many city staff workers earn around $200,000 and have car allowances, cell phones, etc. Perhaps there are opportunities to save tax dollars in that area.
3. I believe a focus on people reflect our values as a community. By voting "Yes" on Proposition 1, you help the parents and grandparents who helped you throughout your life.
Are you concerned about the future of this country?
We invest countless dollars in our military, transportation and communication infrastructure. Yet, our most important infrastructures we fail to invest in, our intellectual infrastructure. If we are not producing the best and brightest, other nations will. China alone produces five times the number of engineers the U.S. does year after year. The sheer weight of those numbers almost guarantees we will be out-innovated, a prospect I shudder to think about.
The education system is the most effective program we have for pulling people out of poverty and was a cornerstone of the U.S. rise to a world power in less than a century.
States, including Texas, base their education system around a test costing less than $15. That is not only terrifying but ridiculous. That is why I am asking our elected officials (state and federal only) to take the same standardized test as our kids and make the results public. Or, put forth real measures that will allow for us to maintain our place in the world. I sent them an open letter about a movement I am calling Standardizedkids.com.
Trump meeting expectations
So far, the Trump administration is living up to expectations: mean-spirited, hateful, secretive, dishonest, war-mongering, and clueless -- with no concern for the voting public that government is supposed to serve.