Monthly Archives: April 2016

Taxpayer Alert – Seniors Would Lose In City / AISD Tax Swap

I’mBy Bill Oakey – April 5, 2016

There would be no “Christmas in July” for Austin seniors this summer if the City moves forward with a new plan to take over funding of many of AISD’s social services. The tax swap idea sounds good to the school district, since they would be able to lower the amount of “Robin Hood” recapture money that they have to send back to the State. But a 1987 State law (which began as a proposal on my old Sears typewriter) freezes school taxes for seniors age 65 and older and the disabled.

The Race Is On

Right now the State of Texas is embroiled in a complex legal case with numerous school districts, including AISD over the Constitutionality of the Robin Hood system of funding Texas Schools. That case still has many miles over rocky roads to travel before probably finally being settled by the State Supreme Court.

Meanwhile the race is on for the City to study, debate and gather public input on the new social services tax swap plan. AISD’s fiscal year begins on July 1st. But there are so many questions. What would happen to the tax swap if the State Supreme Court threw out the current school finance system. Wouldn’t it make more sense to wait until the court battles are finished, and a new statewide tax plan is adopted?

The City Would Need An Offsetting Tax Adjustment to Protect Seniors!

if the City were to implement the tax swap, they would need to adjust their own over-65 homestead exemption for seniors and index it every year to maintain the intent of the 1987 school tax freeze. Everybody needs to contact their City Council members as soon as possible to ensure that this proper step is taken to protect seniors and disabled homeowners.

 

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John Kelso Nails Trump Exclusive, And I Have More!

By Bill Oakey – April 1, 2016

Amazing and sometime crazy things seem to happen here on the first of April. This time, Austin American-Statesman writer John Kelso broke the news on his Facebook page that Trump Enterprises has inked a deal to purchase the Austin Chronicle for $3.2 million. Kelso’s posting offered few details, except that Mr. Trump does not plan to make any “major changes” to the paper.

This news prompted me to ratchet up whatever sleuthing skills I could muster and try to dig deeper into the story. Insiders have confirmed that Trump spoke to the Chronicle staff by satellite in between campaign stops in Wisconsin. “He wanted to learn about Austin’s affordability problems,” according to a Trump spokesperson. Even without waiting for a full response from the Chronicle news team, Trump interjected by saying, “Excuse me, let me just say this. We’re gonna make Austin great again, Ok? There won’t be any more problems. We’ll start here at the Chronicle and move up from there. We’ll fix this affordability thing, Ok?”

Much to Mr. Trump’s surprise, however, Chronicle staff writer Michael King stood up and challenged him head on. “Mr. Trump, sir, you don’t seem to understand. Austin affordability is just like climate change. You don’t have to believe in it if you don’t want to. And by the way, just so you know. Climate change is real. But there is no affordability problem here. We’re doing just fine. Austin is already great.”

After finding himself in a difficult position, Mr. Trump quickly pivoted to another subject. “You people here at the Chronicle might as well be the first to hear this announcement. Today our company has finalized the purchase of the prime downtown site currently occupied by the Austin American-Statesman. We have great plans for the property. I mean, really! You’re gonna love it. Trust me on that. No…excuse me…I’m telling you. You’re just going to love it!”

“What we will be launching soon at our downtown site in Austin will be the envy of every other city in America. It will be a food lover’s paradise. Just think about this and you won’t be able to stand the wait. Forget about Trump Steaks and Trump Wine. We’re going to have Trump Tacos, Trump Barbecue, and…Excuse me!..,I’m not done yet. Just for you people here in Austin, we’re going to introduce Trump Dog Biscuits. Now, is that great or what?!!”

Totally Foolish Song List

  1. “April’s Fool,” Ray Price , 1970
  2. “Who Will the Next Fool Be,” Charlie Rich, 1961
  3. “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool,” Connie Francis, 1960