The Back MicThe Back Mic: Abbott Calls for Historic Property Tax Cut, 23 Libertarians Remaining on the Ballot Listed, House Chair Accused of ‘Censoring’ Member Press Release

This week — Gov. Abbott calls for at least a $13.5 billion property tax cut, the Libertarian Party candidates kept on the ballot after a lawsuit are listed, and a state lawmaker feuds with the House Administration chairman.
September 2, 2022

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Abbott Looks to Use Half of $27 Billion Revenue Estimate for Tax Cut

Gov. Greg Abbott called for the “largest property tax cut ever in the history of Texas” on Wednesday at a campaign stop.

In July, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar projected a $27 billion treasury balance for 2023, due to record sales tax collections caused by inflation and rising prices of oil and other goods and commodities. That raised the question for state officials of how to disperse that money in the next budget.

Abbott’s declaration called for at least half of that sum to be used on property tax cuts, presumably as rate compression in some form — the most ambitious of which would be buying down to eliminate the school district Maintenance & Operation rate, the largest single component of bills.

The governor has previously backed that proposal, although details are relatively scant.

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Lt. Governor Dan Patrick called for at least $4 billion in compression of local rates back in July after the comptroller’s announcement. Last year, the Texas Legislature earmarked $3 billion from its tranche of federal coronavirus aid for compression during the 88th legislative session. Despite Congress stipulating in its aid legislation that the funds could not be used to cut taxes, a court ruled that stipulation untenable.

Libertarian Candidates Remaining on Ballot After GOP Lawsuit Fails

A challenge by 23 Republicans to have their Libertarian Party opponents was rejected by the Texas Supreme Court last Friday, stating that the petition was filed too late.

The result ensures that the Libertarian candidates for each of those races will remain on the ballot for the November general election. Those candidates include:

  • Shanna Steele, candidate for lieutenant governor
  • Christopher Claytor, candidate for the 3rd Congressional District
  • John Simmons, candidate for the 4th Congressional District
  • Roy Eriksen, candidate for the 8th Congressional District
  • Bill Kelsey, candidate for the 10th Congressional District
  • Ross Leone, candidate for the 15th Congressional District
  • Joseph Leblanc, candidate for the 22nd Congressional District
  • Mike Kolls, candidate for the 26th Congressional District
  • Ken Ashby, candidate for the 33rd Congressional District
  • Tommy Estes, candidate for Senate District 5
  • Edward Kless, candidate for Senate District 8
  • Jeremy Schroppel, candidate for Senate District 22
  • Matt Savino, candidate for State House District 4
  • Edwin Adams, candidate for State House District 8
  • Jeff Miller, candidate for State House District 14
  • Nick Hearn, candidate for State House District 87
  • Stephanie Berlin, candidate for State House District 122
  • James Harren, candidate for State House District 133
  • Carol Unsicker, candidate for State House District 134
  • Alan Pyeatt, candidate for State Board of Education District 7
  • Clyde Garland, candidate for Brazos County Judge
  • Joe Burns, candidate for Llano County Treasurer
  • Bailey Cole, candidate for Brazos County Justice of The Peace Precinct 2
Legislator Lobs “Censorship” Accusation at House Chair

State Rep. Bryan Slaton (R-Royse City) lobbed an accusation at House Administration Chair Will Metcalf (R-Conroe) this week, accusing the chair of “censoring” a previous press release by not publishing it to the House’s website as is customary.

The release in question concerned public medical schools in Texas “teaching gender modification to students.”

“After a series of information requests made by the Office of Representative Bryan Slaton, it has been confirmed that child gender modification and other transgenderism practices are being taught in some Texas public medical schools,” it read.

That statement was circulated on August 24 and remains unpublished on the House website.

“We were informed last week my press release would not be published on the House website because it violated their ‘policy guidelines,’ which are a mixture of objective and subjective standards,” Slaton said in an August 31 press release about the unpublished one.

“After several attempts to ascertain the exact violations of the informative press release in question, Chairman Metcalf informed me certain descriptive adjectives and phrases, such as ‘abhorrent,’ ‘harmful,’ ‘barbaric’ and the phrase ‘no one in their right mind,’ could [not] be used to describe the practices of child gender-modification on the House website.”

Metcalf’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

The Wednesday release concludes by saying, “This press release has been submitted for publication on the House website since it does not explicitly call child gender modification any unapproved adjectives.”


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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.