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Letters to the editor, November 30

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Denton Record-Chronicle Readers

Reform tax system

Tax reform is a big issue. The complexity of our obscene tax structure is a problem. Major reform is needed. Tax cuts are not beneficial unless they produce a more equitable structure.

The U.S. pays the fourth-lowest tax rate as a share of gross domestic product of developed countries. The average tax rate for 258 companies for the last eight years was 21.2 percent. Remember our statutory rate is 35 percent.

A reduction of the statutory rate to 20 percent without the elimination of the present corporate tax breaks would substantially reduce the effective rate below 20 percent.

Taxation of investment income (dividends and capital gains) gets a reduced rate over wage income. All income should be taxed at the same rate. A major reform process should not restrict debate and avoid the normal process.

The current bill projects a 10-year deficit of $1.5 trillion with the unfounded belief that economic growth will offset this amount. Statistical analysis shows no correlation between economic growth and tax changes.

The business pass-through is a boondoggle. It will only help the passive investor. The managing investor does not benefit. Again, a special-interest group gets the goodies.

Elimination of the estate tax is a giveaway to the rich. Only two-tenths of 1 percent of estates pay this tax.

Bill Giese,

Egregious violation

As reported in the DRC by Caitlyn Jones, on Nov. 14 Denton school trustees voted to rename an elementary school after a late-night discussion behind closed doors.

School attorney Stout justified this maneuver by offering a (weak) explanation why school naming might qualify as a legal topic for closed session. Maybe? Maybe not?

But there's a bigger problem here.

His explanation was a complete smokescreen and irrelevant.

The Texas Open Meetings Act does not require a governing body to specify whether a subject will be considered in open or closed session -- only that the subject matter (open or closed) shall be clearly revealed to the public and said item shall have been properly posted 72 hours in advance.

Fact: Nowhere on that Nov. 14 DISD meeting agenda does it include or make mention of renaming any school. As a result, any action taken -- after open or closed session -- would be illegal and voidable under Texas law.

They could rename this school Elmer Fudd Elementary for all I care, but the undisputed facts reveal a stunning and egregious violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act -- irrespective of closed-session legality.

Board President Price added that this subject had been "on their radar" since October. Pity it wasn't "on their agenda" Nov. 14 because you've now created a voidable action under law.

Considering the collective experience and tenure of current school trustees, this oversight is inexcusable.

David Zoltner,