How often have you entered the voting booth and selected a candidate based on a mental coin toss? To what extent have you considered the negative impact of that method of selecting those who make decisions with your finances and quality of life?
A Leander single parent with several young children recently told me she was forced to take a second job just to pay escalating Leander property taxes. She had purchased a modest home within the past two years in an effort to escape ever-rising rents, only now to be faced with ever-increasing monthly payments to her mortgage company to cover property taxes.
She is no longer able to be home in the evening to assist her children with homework or to be a listening ear when they come home from school.
Her situation is not isolated. Parents, couples, singles and retirees who once fled to suburban Leander for affordable housing are now being chased by big-city property tax rates. Single parents, veterans, those afflicted with the onset of long term health issues, as well as those with other stressing stage-of-life issues are being put in the financial squeeze, and most of our elected officials are making matters worse.
Officeholders and public administrators typically default to blaming property tax increases on rising property values, but evade responsibility for neglecting to set property tax rates at a level that provides homeowners real tax relief.
Elections have consequences. Whether for candidates or bond measures, Leander voters have been swayed far too long by political sound bites, smooth talk, and glossy mailers, especially those paid for by non-residents. Homeowners are paying the price when those unvetted candidates take office and use their power to pick winners and losers. Decision-making becomes a game of coin toss: “Heads, the outside special interests win. Tails, you the homeowner, loses.”
Do your research before voting, or don’t vote. If you do your research, make it a priority to vote, and vote for the candidates who have a proven track record of putting Leander citizens first.
Citizens like that single mother of three down the street who would like to be home to tuck her children in at night.
Copyright © 2018 Don Stroud