FLASH STAFF REPORT
STEPHENVILLE (September 14, 2016) – Stephenville resident Justin Allison was the lone voice against the proposed tax rate for the city of Stephenville for the upcoming year. He spoke during a Tuesday special called meeting of the Stephenville City Council.
The following is Allison’s speech during the citizens’ comments section of Tuesday night’s agenda at Stephenville City Hall.
Good evening Mayor and members of the Council,
I am here tonight in favor of cutting the property tax rate. I believe that cutting taxes is always the right thing to do. I believe the same as my political hero Ronald Reagan once said, that “the government that governs best governs least”. Our fellow townspeople are struggling, and they are struggling in large part due to our high property tax rate. This high property tax rate certainly helps grow the government, but it does not help the people.
I believe that the most direct way you can help your fellow citizens is not from growing the size of government, it is not via the creation of new government programs, or new government jobs, it is simply letting people keep more of their own hard earned money. For many people in our community, their most burdensome living expense is their property taxes. It is an expense that is the difference between people having a good quality of life, and a terrible struggle. When presented with the choice of helping people, or helping the government, I will always side with the people. What is best for the people is what is best for the government, but what is best for the government is not always what is best for the people.
I have seen our local government waste tens of thousands, and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on purchases that could best be described as wants and not needs. I understand fully the difference between the two, and I implore you to reflect on the same. Every purchase you say no to is money that could either be reallocated to critical infrastructure improvements such roads, waterlines, and sewer lines, or to lowering the property tax rate. If you simply choose to quit spending money on monuments of governmental excess, outdated legacy services, additional government employees, and new studies, then I am confident that you will not only have the resources to redevelop our community’s ailing infrastructure, but also give back to the people as well.
To those of you who say that the budget has already been determined, I would remind you of the analogy my friend once opined. “A budget is like a grocery list, when you go to the store you are not obligated to purchase everything that is on there”. I say to you, even now, everything is a choice. I ask you to please reflect on my words and begin to contemplate that which is a want, and that which is a need.
Please, do that which is right for the people of this community. Quit allocating our money on wants, start spending it on needs, and refund the rest. I urge you, please, lower our property tax rate, and spend our money wisely.