Eliminating Property Taxes = Economic Growth

Texas has one of the most burdensome property tax systems in the nation.  Ever-increasing tax assessments have forced many Texans from their homes, led to costly lawsuits against assessment formulations, and is a complex mess that few people actually understand.  Property taxes compel homeowners to effectively lease their own homes from the government.

Strengthening Families

Nothing is more important to Sally and me than how we raise our 2 boys.  Family is the cornerstone of a healthy and successful life—that’s why I support the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.  I also recognize the devastating effects of the cycle of poverty perpetuated by our welfare system, which divests people of the means to provide for themselves.  I will work to implement random drug testing for welfare recipients and the limitation of benefits to food and vital essentials.

Protect The Border Now

The federal government has abandoned its constitutional duty to protect and defend our borders so Texas must act.  Democrats and some fearful Republicans continue to frustrate efforts to deal with the border while drug cartels and alien gangs have free rein.  Taxpayers pick up the tab in the form of healthcare, public safety, and education costs.  

Copyright 2015. Jay Wiley for Texas House. Sally Wiley, Treasurer

All Rights Reserved.

Transportation Reform

We need to overhaul how we build roads in Texas by pairing funding with meaningful reforms.

Replacing the current bid-design-bid-build contracting model with a design-build model would save taxpayers billions of dollars and accelerate the completion of much-needed road projects.  Studies have shown that design-build contracting can save nearly 30% on the cost of a project and reduce construction time by as much as a year

For over 2 decades I have made the cause of liberty my life’s mission.  My pledge to voters is to defend the principles of limited government always – even when it is unpopular.  Here are my priorities as your state representative.

With every new government regulation and every new feel-good program the individual becomes further subordinated to government.  Even many Republicans have forgotten that government exists to protect our God-given rights to life, liberty, and property, and that all governmental authority comes from the people.  Government does not exist to provide for each of us or to protect us from bad outcomes in life.

The consequences of overregulation and big government are enormous, from higher costs for all the goods and services we buy to the erosion of our liberty.  Some Republicans like Paul Workman talk tough at election time but when the time comes to cast tough votes, they timidly retreat. 

Our Rights As Texans

The United States is a union of sovereign states each with fundamental rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.  The gradual erosion of our rights as Texans by the federal government over the decades has turned into a runaway landslide under Barack Obama.  Everything from the doctors we choose, to the environment, to the food we eat is heavily regulated by Washington D.C.  I will work every day to turn back the tide of federal overreach by opposing all federal mandates that infringe upon our rights under the Tenth Amendment.  This requires more than hollow resolutions and tough talk—we need leadership to build the grassroots coalitions we need to put pressure on our elected officials to stand up against federal mandates.

Educating Our Children

Educating our children is the responsibility of parents.  The state’s role is to facilitate our responsibility as parents.  Texas should prioritize teachers and classrooms over top-heavy bureaucracies that drain resources and detract from the mission of schools – to prepare our children for success. 

Parents need more freedom to educate their children through homeschools and private parochial schools without governmental interference; students deserve the right to display patriotic items on school property; and taxpayers deserve legislators who will oppose costly and ineffective mandatory pre-school programs.  I will also fight back against Common Core mandates from the federal government, promote English-only curriculum, and ensure that Texas college admissions are based solely on merit, not quotas. 

The 2nd Amendment

“…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

These are the simple, but profound, words of the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution.  These words should be revered as much today just as the day they were written.  I’m a proud member of the NRA and will fight hard to defend our rights from liberals and timid Republicans who seek to water down our 2nd Amendment rights.  That includes supporting constitutional carry, opposing unconstitutional schemes designed to chip away at our gun rights, and abolishing gun-free zones. 

Protecting The Unborn

I am proudly pro-life.  This is personal for Sally and me.  When our unborn son was diagnosed with a devastating heart condition, doctors gave us at the option of terminating the pregnancy.  We bent heaven and earth to find the best care for him at great financial and personal expense.  Our son underwent experimental surgery on his tiny heart in the womb – one of the first ever to undergo such a procedure.  Five open-heart surgeries later, Anders is a happy 8 year old who plays football, enjoys cub scouts, and just started third grade.  We can’t imagine our lives without him. 

I will fight for the unborn with all I have until the wrongly decided Roe v. Wade decision is overturned.  That includes strengthening informed consent laws in Texas, closing loopholes in parental consent laws, and shutting down the criminal enterprise known as Planned Parenthood.

Economic Freedom

The success of the Texas economy is no accident.  Free markets have made the United States the most prosperous nation in the world and Texas leads the way by enacting reforms that make the market more competitive and give consumers greater choice.  

Despite our unequivocal success, Democrats and some Republicans in the Legislature are still suspicious of the Texas model.  I will fight them every step of the way to make sure Texas maintains our role as the economic envy of the nation.  That means greater consumer choice, cutting needless regulation and unfair laws that restrict competition, unleashing innovative companies like Uber and Lyft, and eliminating the business franchise tax completely. 

Shelving road fixes because of a nearby salamander or frog is completely unreasonable.  I will fight radical environmentalists and employ every resource possible to make sure the Y at Oak Hill is finally completed.

The Austin metro area has some of the worst traffic in the nation.  Congestion at peak times can be drastically reduced through the smart use of traffic signal synchronization and flex commuting.  We must also categorically reject the siren song of urban rail – which will bust the budget and is an incredibly inefficient misadventure for taxpayers – and instead focus mass transit dollars on buses, which are more flexible and much less costly.

We must turn off the faucet of illegal immigration by employing 21st century technology to seal the border, monitor activity, and enforce our laws.  While Paul Workman calls for a “national dialogue” on illegal immigration, I will work to completely eliminate economic magnets like “sanctuary cities” (such as Austin), and stop back door amnesty schemes like in-state tuition and relaxed hiring standards for illegals. 

Paul Workman proudly favors pro-illegal immigrant programs like guest worker permits and ID cards for illegal aliens in Texas.  Real solutions require strong conservative leadership to enforce our laws, not more weak moderation. 

The Texas economy is the model for the nation—let’s show the rest of the country how to defend the border as well.

 I will strengthen our right-to-work laws by barring public employers from tapping their employees’ wages for union membership dues without their consent, work tirelessly to end municipal bans on retail plastic bags, and firmly reject the anticompetitive demands of special interests.

Ending Forced Annexations

The current law in Texas allows municipalities to forcibly annex entire swathes of nearby neighborhoods against their will—forcing those people to see much higher utility bills with no benefit in return.  Too often, annexed neighborhoods are treated as piggy banks for costly and ill-conceived projects like green energy adventures and gold-plated urban rail boondoggles.

Property rights and self-determination are too important to be left to the whims of a few urban bureaucrats.  That is why we need legislation requiring the annexing entity to gain voter approval of the annexee.  Texas should also eliminate limited-purpose annexation, which allows municipalities to take in tax dollars and regulatory authority without providing services.  I will work to ensure Texas cities respect their neighbors’ liberty and their wallet. 

Our property taxes are based on an imagined, or assessed, value of our home.  Instead, a better system would be to tax the actual transaction price of the property when it is sold.  This would remove the prospect of taxing homeowners out of their home through radically increasing assessments.  This also eliminates the need for the 254 separate appraisal districts in Texas and their thousands of employees.

Texas should lower down our current property tax and eventually replace it with a small, understandable consumption, or sales, tax.  Some of the most recognized economists in the country have estimated that such a replacement, dollar for dollar, would increase Texans’ personal income between 1.8% and 4.7% and trigger a net gain of hundreds of thousands of new jobs. 

Economic growth is encouraged when the burden of supporting state government is lifted from homeowners and broadened to include everyone in Texas through the goods and services we all buy.  Taxes are healthier and more fair when tied to economic activity and consumers’ ability to pay, instead of imaginary assessed value of a fixed asset.

Last legislative session, Paul Workman sided with Democrats and big government Republicans against providing property tax relief for homeowners until the pressure from conservatives became unbearable.  We need conservative leadership with bold new ideas and the courage to fight for them.