After explaining to my Monitor colleague Ryan Thornton that roads rule and buses drool, Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty, the only local Republican elected official left in the county, said that he’s deeply concerned about the drumbeat for revenue caps coming out of the Lege:
“I am most concerned about the Legislature limiting what we can do with generating the dollars that it takes us to operate county government,” Daugherty said. “If we get some sort of an artificial cap on what it is that we can do, then that is very scary to me.”
Noting that while he is a conservative in favor of keeping taxes as low as possible, Daugherty said the Texas Legislature does not sufficiently understand social needs and their costs at the county level.
“I think what people really don’t understand is when we are in as good of economic times as we are in, why don’t we have enough money to take on things without having to raise taxes,” he said. “That’s the reason that I think the Legislature feels like they’re the ones that have to help people.”
Preach brother! The Travis County legislative delegation and the county/city lobbying corps should put this guy front-and-center of their efforts to limit the damage this session. Let’s just hope that while he’s there he doesn’t talk to them about transportation.
Daugherty’s remarks stand in strong contrast to those made by Ellen Troxclair, the last Republican on Council. She has been a vocal supporter of revenue caps and regularly pooh-poohs the barbs that her colleagues regularly lob at the legislature over property taxes and school finance.
Speaking of Troxclair, she apparently is in the process of starting a new group:
She also expects to return to City Hall on occasion as part of a grassroots organization she is working on, to be called the Alliance for Affordable Cities. At the moment, Troxclair and unnamed allies are working on a website for the organization and she said she has spoken with people in other cities such as San Diego and Salt Lake City.
My guess is that this is an attempt to build a municipal equivalent to the American Legislative Exchange Council, the group that brings businesses and GOP legislators together to advance conservative policy in statehouses across the country.