As a former mayor, I’ve learned to pay close attention to the actual words candidates use to describe their positions, particularly when it comes to local taxation. So, this direct quote caught my eye in a campaign piece from the millionaire oilman running against our Texas Representative Wayne Faircloth in the Republican primary:

Faircloth’s opponent says we need “iron-clad limits on property tax growth and meaningful relief, while simultaneously working towards eventual abolition.”

My, that sounds good, doesn’t it? Such easy politics. Just say taxes are too high and automatically get some people to vote for you. But what is he really saying?

“We need iron-clad limits on property tax growth …” Who do you think will set the “iron-clad limits?” The State Legislature, of course, and lobbyists. So if you vote for this newcomer from outside our area, you vote for someone who wants to put state regulations above local taxpayer wishes. Austin will set the limits on tax rates, not us. We want to fix our streets, repair our schools, rebuild after a storm?

Sorry, no matter how we vote as local citizens on things we believe are important, Austin will decide. We wouldn’t have any real choice in the matter. To repeat: “ … iron-clad limits …” He and his cronies in Austin will impose limits and restrict our right to decide our own future. As a former mayor of a community, I strongly oppose this concept and I think many residents do as well.

And what would he substitute for property taxes after their “eventual abolition?” Higher sales taxes? A state income tax? Property taxes provide about a third of general fund revenues in Galveston, and they can’t be just wiped out without finding an alternate source of funds.

Faircloth’s opponent is in the oil and gas business, and that industry pays considerable local property taxes. You can understand oil millionaires wanting to do away with property taxes, but do you want to pay higher sales taxes to help them out?

This candidate is running for office to reduce taxes on his corporations and wells, and he cloaks that in the patriotic-sounding concept of rigidly restricting and abolishing local ad valorem taxes. But the substitutes for ad valorem taxes would be more taxes on us individuals.

So, in his own words, he wants to place the state House of Representatives and Senate, and their laws, above the rights of us local residents to make our own choices about taxes.

He also neglects to mention substituting sales and/or income taxes for local property taxes, and that those taxes would disproportionately hit individuals like us while benefiting industries like his.

From my point of view as a former mayor, this is not the policy or the person I favor representing me in the 23rd district. I support incumbent Rep. Wayne Faircloth, who has always fought hard for our local rights, and has come through for Galveston and Chambers counties residents again and again.

Lewis Rosen is a former mayor of Galveston.


(11) comments

Doyle Beard

Appears Middleton is inclined to support Governor Abbott on anything. I have no real gripe with re Governor but he is not always right . Anyone with this theory should call 1-800-SCAM and line up a purchasae of ocean front property in Ariona.

Carol Dean

Doyle, when you are a "shallow thinker" you will only see what people like Wayne want you to see and think. Quit being a sheeple!

Gary Scoggin

An inexperienced kid from a rich family comes in and tries to buy the election. He aligns with the Governor who did everything he could to undermine local control of everything from trees to taxis to taxes. And the rich kid runs on the same kind of platform. The good news is that if the rich kid wins, he'll be running for some higher office as soon as he can so we won't be stuck with him too long.

What are people seeing in him?

James Henderson

Property taxes that are capped encourages local government transparency. We need someone to reign in spending . taxes and budgets. Not exciting or fun. Necessary accountability. The same old results tax and spend without caps is a solution that govenor abbot and Mayes Middleton can achieve. Mayes is best candidate for district and texas. James Henderson

Carol Dean

Yes sir, Mr. Henderson!

Carol Dean

Uh, Gary, Mr. Middleton is HONEST! That's the attraction. If you support Straus, then of course Fakecloth looks good to you.

Gary Scoggin

Fakecloth? Did you make that up on your own? Mr. Middleton may be honest. I’ve met him in person and he seems a nice enough guy. I’m more interested in someone that supports local control of taxes, not someone willing to give all the power to Austin.

Carol Dean

Mayes Middleton worked in Chambers County to stop a 5% increase in property taxes! The only thing Fakecloth cares about is getting the best deals for his insurance company through Texas Windstorm! Do you know he proposed to reduce the amount of recovery money we would receive because of storm damages??? Thank goodness there were more representatives who rejected his initiative before we were hit by Harvey! Come on, Wayne, try telling the truth for a change!

Jarvis Buckley

Great- us folks with property need to keep carrying the load. Bull!!!!

Carol Dean

Do like Ken it possible that he has a goat and a cow and a family garden listed on his property exclusions? Would someone let me know? I have read that some people think he is getting preferential treatment.

Gary Scoggin

By the way, you guys do know that Middleton lives in River Oaks. It’s appraised at $4,000,000, day not you? No wonder he can afford to buy his way in. It would be nice if he lived in the district he’s claiming to want to represent.

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