Plans announced by Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen to limit tax increases to 2.5% have drawn opposition from three major chambers of commerce in the region.The Public Policy Councils and Boards of Directors of the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce, the Belton Chamber of Commerce and the Temple Chamber of Commerce have all passed resolutions, or adopted legislative positions, in opposition to the limit that state leaders are advocating.
“Don’t get us wrong,” states Meredith Viguers, Chairman of the Killeen Chamber Board of Directors, “All of us represent business members who are significant tax payers. We are not in favor of unnecessarily high taxes. But, at the same time, we are opposed to the imposition of unrealistic, restrictive, one-size fits all mandates imposed by the state that may adversely impact the ability of local governments to meet the need for services — services often demanded by constituents.”
The chambers believe that the state has had a hand in driving taxes up by reducing state funding for public education and by passing mandates that local political subdivisions must implement with no state financial support.
Peter Beronio, Chair of the Killeen Chamber Public Policy Council, said, “Local political subdivisions are in the best position to understand and respond to local needs. And, elected officials who cast votes in those subdivisions are more accessible to and answerable to the voters of those political subdivisions. We simply believe that local voter control is the most effective and efficient way to ensure that these entities meet their responsibilities.”
The chambers are in fundamental agreement that artificially imposed revenue caps do not constitute functional public policy.
The chambers are encouraging their member businesses to contact members of the legislature to voice concerns.
John Crutchfield, Killeen Chamber, firstname.lastname@example.org, 254-526-9551
Randy Pittenger, Belton Chamber, email@example.com, 254-939-3551
Rod Henry, Temple Chamber, firstname.lastname@example.org, 254-773-2105