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  • Writer's pictureNorth Shore Democrats of Travis County

May 4 TCAD election about protecting schools, parks

By Mike Killalea, NSD president

The election on May 4 for the Board of Directors of the Travis County Appraisal District (TCAD) is not about lowering taxes. It’s about protecting our schools, parks, and other services in Travis County.

Three places are contested in this election. North Shore Democrats has endorsed Daniel Wang, Place 2; Jett Hanna, Place 1; and Dick Lavine, Place 3. Please vote for these three candidates during early voting, April 22-30, or on Election Day, May 4. Details on where and when to vote provided below.

Be sure to remember their names, because there will be no party affiliations listed on the ballot.

Oppose the GOP anti-tax agenda

Republicans are using this election to play political games and push an extreme anti-tax agenda. This dovetails with the Republican dream of eliminating property taxes entirely, a goal stated prominently in the state GOP’s platform. (1)

But the work of TCAD requires technical accuracy and precision — not political dogmatism.

“The most important role of Board of Directors is to appoint the [Appraisal Review Board] and to ensure that they are people who can learn the law and follow the law,”explained Democratic candidate Dick Lavine.

“It is not a place for a political agenda about tax cutting. That’s done in the political process… The appraisal is a technical process and we want to keep it accurate and safe from any political meddling,” he explained. (2)

The Appraisal Review Board are county employees who hear citizens’ protests against their tax valuations.

Tax rates, Lavine explained, are set by the taxing authorities — cities, school districts, counties.

GOP apparent goal is to kill public schools

The GOP’s apparent goal? Kill public schools as they now exist in our state by starving them of tax revenues. Thus, a self-fulfilling prophecy — starve a public service, then point to it as an example of how government fails.

Most recently, Lt Gov Dan Patrick has directed state senators to assess the feasibility of eliminating property taxes entirely. (3)

Patrick asked the Senate Finance Committee to identify the best way to continue reducing property taxes as well as determine how much it would cost to eliminate school maintenance and operations taxes, all school district property taxes or all property taxes. (4)

And more than three-quarters of Travis County Republicans apparently support this goal. 78% of Travis County Republicans voting in the March primary approved a non-binding proposition to “eliminate all property taxes without increasing Texans’ overall tax burden.” (5)

Ending property taxes would require $73.5 billion from sales tax to fund Texas schools. That’s nearly twice $46.58 billion the state realized in sales taxes in fiscal year 2023. (6,7)

Wrong message

The fact is that this election is not about cutting taxes. It’s about ensuring a fair and technically sound approach to managing valuation of real property, in order to preserve adequate funding for schools, parks, and other local services.

Voting locations and hours

Early voting is available in Lago Vista at Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church 21900 Farm to Market Rd 1431. Hours are 7 am-7 pm Monday-Saturday, and noon-6 pm on Sunday. One can also vote at any Travis County early voting location.

On Election Day, Saturday, May 4, North Shore residents can vote at Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church, Lago Vista High School, or Jonestown Community Center. Or, one can vote at any Vote Center in Travis County where the “Vote Here/Aqui” sign is displayed. Hours are 7 am- 7 pm.


Additional resources & candidate information:

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