Texas Citizen Watchdog Groups Oppose Taxation Without Representation

Among the almost 4,500 bills passed is one tax bill which is being opposed by citizen groups, including tax watchdog organizations Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) and Texas Citizens Action Network (TexasCAN).

“We oppose this legislation which allows Del Mar Community College to annex Aransas, Kenedy, Kleberg and part of Nueces and San Patricio Counties to include them in their tax base, because this would represent a large tax increase to citizens in these counties, said Maria Martinez, policy expert for TexasCAN and a native of the area. “This legislation, SB 315, is on the Governor’s desk and needs to be vetoed.”

Peggy Venable, director of Texas CSE, said, “Del Mar Community College recently passed a $108 million bond issue, which they want to spread to a larger tax base, but one that has not voted for the tax increase. This is taxation without representation.”

If the tax rate remained at 22 cents per $100 valuation, the newly annexed taxing areas would generate $3l million. Currently, taxes make up one-third of Del Mar’s $64 million budget.

Students from outside the district pay 56% higher tuition. (Tuition is $133 for in-district students and $208 for out of district students for credit courses). Only 18% of the college’s enrollment was from outside the district.

This is taxation without representation. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa and Rep.Vilma Luna, does provide for an election but includes the current tax base with those to be annexed. The current tax base is much larger and those currently being taxed have been told their taxes would be lower if the outlying areas are annexed.

This will be a significant tax increase in these new areas, and according to former Sen. Carlos Truan, “The tax will be an imposition in areas like Robstown which is considered low income.”

Download the Petition (word doc)