Libertarian Candidate for Texas Governor Kathie Glass Stumps in San Angelo
The burden of state property taxes and school finance reform were on Kathie Glass’s mind when she and her tiny entourage of libertarians rolled into San Angelo Friday afternoon on a big yellow bus. Glass is running as a third party candidate for Texas Governor, representing the Libertarian Party of Texas.
“We need to eliminate property taxes and replace it with nothing. Property taxes are the worst possible [kind of] tax. You don’t really own your home if you have to pay rent to the government on an arbitrary basis every year,” she said after asked about the Fort Bend ISD Group, a group of over 600 Texas school districts that sued the state over unfairness of school finance between property-rich districts and poor ones
If school property taxes are eliminated, how do we fund providing a free public education?
“So we have to find another way to meet our commitment to the Texas Constitutional mandate for a system of free public schools. But when we do that we also have to keep in mind what the purpose of that constitutional provision is. What it says is, we have to educate people so that they understand liberty; understand how it was achieved and how we’re going to keep it. I submit that we’re not doing that. And CSCOPE has shown us how interwoven our federal government is with our [statewide] educational business. Even though we didn’t take that money, they are controlling the curriculum. I think it’s time to conduct a wholesale revamping of our educational system, and find a way to fund whatever we do without property taxes.”
CSCOPE is a controversial curriculum “support system” adopted by a majority of the school districts in Texas. Often referred to as “Common Core,” CSCOPE has since been renamed TEKS Resource System of TRS.
What Glass is referring to are the teaching provisions (and test wording that accompanies the standardized tests) that do not align with what many see as liberty-minded Texan values. For example, many Tea Party groups allege that Common Core idolizes Sharia Law and Islam at the expense of the Judeo-Christian values that our nation was founded upon.
Glass said that the Texas Permanent School Fund, a $28 billion asset (as of 2012) is a start. Glass said that using the PSF as an annuity will provide at least $7,000 per student in Texas public schools for their education. “And I think that is enough to say that the State of Texas has met its obligations under the state Constitution,” Glass said. “If a locality wanted to supplement that with, say, a local option sales tax, I would clear whatever barriers that keeps them from doing that.”
The Kathie Glass position against school property taxes extends to every other area of government. “No aspect of government ever admits that it has enough money,” she said.
“That’s why we’re taxed too much and we spend too much at every conceivable level of government. You cannot tell me they’re doing the best they can with each dollar. You know they’re not. You can look at all of these buildings. The [school district] administration buildings, and the ‘Taj Ma-Stadiums’… school districts are not lacking for money. They just feel the need to spend it so that they can ask for more,” she said.
“It’s time to stop that. It’s an ever-increasing debt pyramid. Texas has the second largest amount of per-capita debt in the country, and the local [government] debt adds to that. It’s crushing. We can’t keep doing this,” she said.
On Oil Field Trucks and Roads
Heavy sand and water tractor-trailers supplying the oil field are using the public roadways night and day, tearing them up. Our State Rep. Drew Darby has given a large number, in the billions of dollars, to fix them.
To finance fixing state highways and Farm-to-Market roads, Darby, a Republican, has been advocating new fees, such as doubling vehicle registration fees. Most of the mileages of those roads affected are in in rural counties.
Glass wants to pinpoint the fees on the entities directly benefitting from Texas highways, especially the oil companies.
“It’s because heavy duty trucks are going on these roads that weren’t built to accommodate that kind of traffic, and not that consistently. They’re coming night and day,” she said.
“I think this is another way that the cronies, the rich and powerful, have used government to enrich themselves at the expense of the rest of us. I say that if they are using those roads in excess, then they should be fined or pay for a special fee or permit,” Glass said.
LIVE!: Would that be a tax?
Glass: No, it’s a user fee.
Rural vs. Urban
Glass said, “For too long we’ve elected all of our statewide representatives from five major cities. That’s why I’m out here on a 245-county tour. Outside the cities, people see issues a whole lot different. I own a ranch in central Texas. I understand farm and ranch issues. “
Glass is travelling towards the Midland and Odessa region this weekend and working her way throughout the western counties of the state over the next couple of weeks.
Glass is running for Texas Governor against Republican Greg Abbott, the current Texas Attorney General, and Democrat Texas Senator Wendy Davis. Early voting begins October 20 and Election Day is Nov. 4.