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I'm Sick and Tired
of being Sick and Tried
By Michael Fredrickson

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of General Manager Michael Fredrickson. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Names can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.

A tax by any other name is still a tax

Of politicians telling me they have cut my tax(es) rate. Notice they don’t say TAXES. They are very careful to say - tax rate. They are eager to claim responsibility for decreasing our tax rate per $100 property valuation. Why do they continue to ignore the fact that the Central Appraisal District in all probability has increased my property value MORE than that penny or two tax rate the politicians have decreased?

Why are local politicians constantly asking for and demanding more tax dollars to account for growth? These increased businesses and residences are all increasing tax revenue that is more than enough to pay for their increased load. Fort Bend cities and other taxing entities get proportionally more tax revenue when someone builds a new house in the city limits.

If that revenue is only 1/20 of a policeman and 1/20 of a fireman, etc. then the city should not hire or expand personnel until 20 more houses are built.

I pay enough taxes for fire, police, dog catcher, etc. I pay a fee (TAX) for water, garbage, etc. Why do these clowns constantly tell me they need more than an inflation increase (which has been extraordinarily low to nonexistent for past 10 years) to pay for growth.

If they need more fire or police, then they are getting more tax dollars from these businesses and residences and that is the reason for the increase in the first place. BELIEVE ME they are getting more from the increased property values of existing 20-year-old homes as well as the agriculture-exempted acres that have just been turned into commercial or residential property. Ag exempted or not, the value of the land has increased exponentially and taxed at whatever rate (even higher if previously ag-exempted).

I’m also sick and tired of journalists (usually an Associated Press or Houston Chronicle) telling me politicians don’t want to raise taxes so instead they are increasing fees. I’m serious! I read that in the Chronicle just two or three weeks ago. Does that so-called journalist actually believe that statement? It wasn’t a quote from a politician. It was the reporter repeating a myth (propaganda) that these politicians want you to believe.

I got news for you - a fee is a TAX! So, from now on, when you see the word “fee” just say or think the word “tax.” Even if the “fee” is based on usage, that doesn’t matter. It is still a tax.


Michael Fredrickson is the General Manager of the Fort Bend/Southwest Star. He can be reached at michael@fortbendstar.com.

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   Last Update:  April 30, 2008