Politics

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Texas Economic Development Fueled By Taxpayer-Funded Corporate Subsidies

Texas economic development continues to be fueled by taxpayer-funded corporate subsidies. An estimated $1.4 billion in property tax revenue has gone uncollected in Texas from 2005 to 2015 as a result of Chapter 313. These are the findings from the state auditor's report in October 2016. As Texas Observer detailed last year, the free lunch to corporations doing business in the state of Texas has seen steady growth year after year. The Texas Economic Development Act, or Chapter 313 as it's known in the tax code, has now racked up an estimated $7 billion cost [...]

By | 2018-05-13T20:29:40+00:00 February 11th, 2017|Economy, Energy & Utilities, Politics, Texas Property Taxes|0 Comments

City of Austin Sues State Of Texas Over Unequal Appraisal System

It appears the City of Austin is taking the bull by the horns in addressing Texas' broken property tax system. The city yesterday announced a lawsuit against the state of Texas over unequal appraisals that continue to burden residential homeowners. The new lawsuit stems from Austin's challenge of TCAD commercial values earlier this summer. In that independent TCAD analysis, commercial property appraisals were shown to be under market value by as much as 50 percent. This of course would contradict the state constitutional mandate that all property be taxed "in proportion to its value". The [...]

By | 2018-05-13T20:36:55+00:00 August 25th, 2015|Housing Policy, Politics, Spin Cycle, Video|0 Comments

PBS Frontline: The Untouchables

Interesting Frontline investigation into how Wall Street has escaped any criminal prosecutions related to the housing crisis.  In addition to some completely ludicrous assertions by Lanny Breuer, there are also some nice interviews with former senator Ted Kaufman, and Jeff Connaughton.  Both Kaufman and Connaughton left Washington when it became blatantly clear that the Justice Department had no real interest in going after the executives on Wall Street who enriched themselves in this massive fraud fest.  As professor William Black will attest, the resources directed at the supposed investigative effort paint a clear picture of priorities.  Connaughton has since [...]

By | 2016-09-29T14:09:47+00:00 January 23rd, 2013|Economy, In the Press, Politics, Real Estate|0 Comments

The United States Of Predators: Realities Behind The Massaged Statistics And The Bifurcated Recovery

I'm eagerly awaiting Charles Furgeson's new book, Predator Nation which will be out next month.  As a follow-up to his Oscar-winning documentary Inside Job, it should be an interesting read.  Unfortunately, we don't have to wait for the book to see some of the issues we face here in the U.S. Charles Hugh Smith recently posted a 4-part series on our current Orwellian realities: The United States of Orwell Part 1: Our One Last Chance to Preserve the Bill of Rights The United States of Orwell Part 2: Law-Abiding Taxpayers Are Treated As Criminals While the Real [...]

By | 2012-04-05T14:20:04+00:00 April 3rd, 2012|Economy|0 Comments