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Good News Dallas
by William Lutz    Tue, Oct 25, 2005, 11:13 PM

The sky is blue. The sun is shining. The Longhorns are winning. And Carole Keeton Strayhorn and Rick Perry are feuding.

Gov. Rick Perry
Once again, Strayhorn is calling for a special session, which Perry once again is not inclined to call. Strayhorn called for a special session to use surplus revenue for a tax refund. “There are about 4.6 million homesteads in Texas,” she said. “If the $1.2 billion surplus were distributed to each homeowner, that would be $260 per homeowner.” Strayhorn added that amount would increase to $307 per homeowner if the state did not have the Texas Enterprise Fund. “Homeowners this month are getting their property tax statements and this money could provide immediate property tax relief,” she said. “The average property tax payment for homeowners is about $2,300 a year. A $260 rebate would be an 11.3 percent property tax cut and a $307 rebate would be a 13.4 percent reduction. That’s real money – that’s real relief.”

Perry and Strayhorn in happier times?
“The comptroller is a walking contradiction," said Perry's press secretary, Kathy Walt. "Two years ago she said property taxes should be cut in half, and now she is short-changing that goal. Three months ago she didn't certify one cent of this $1.2 billion surplus in her constitutionally required revenue estimate to the Legislature, and now she says the money started arriving as early as June. In one month she has tried to spend the same pot of money three different ways in three different calls for special sessions. If she had her way one month ago, all this money would have been spent on the victims of Katrina, leaving nothing for the victims of Hurricane Rita and the property taxpayers of Texas. Her appetite for attention is a recipe for a lot of waffling.”

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