Jim Murphy has outdone himself and it’s hard to tell which accomplishment garnered him this special award. One of this year’s recipients of the Texas Municipal League (TML) “Legislator of the Year” award is Jim Murphy. Fiscal conservatives call this award the “Anti-Taxpayer MVP Legislator of the Year” award – and rightfully so. Past recipients include Wendy Davis, Joe Straus, Carol Alvarado, John Carona, and many others whose sole existence in the Texas Legislature was to separate you from your money, expand government, and erode your liberty. The Texas Municipal League is the bane of every Texas conservative. Once upon a time, Lt. Dan and Senator Paul Bettencourt complained vociferously about the taxpayer funded TML activities.
TML legislates for higher taxes and bigger government every legislative session in Austin. TML sometimes broadens their horizons and lobbies for annexations, management districts, TIRZs, eminent domain, governmental immunity, and generally big, expansive government wherever you can find it. The worst thing about this organization is that it uses your tax dollars to accomplish these goals. The lobbyists for TML are the best and most highly paid in Austin and they use your tax money to work against you. TML’s number one target this session was SB2, the property tax reform bill. TML has an entire webpage on the talking points against property tax reform. Remember that your taxes fund this organization.
TML gives this money to lobbyists who blow smoke up the butts of legislators like Jim Murphy. Jim is then tasked to promote legislation to raise your taxes and expand government in many ways most just cannot fathom, including the creation of TIRZs, (Tax Incremental Reinvestment Zones). Jim Murphy is paid to manage a TIRZ and distribute tax dollars to special interests. Jim Murphy has a contract through District Management Services to manage the Westchase District – legally questionable, at best. The Westchase District was created by the legislature to siphon off dollars from the City of Houston and business owners.
Most TIRZs come with a management district to augment revenue and operate as another taxing authority designed to take funds from business owners. Management districts tax business owners on a square foot basis. TML magicians, lawyers, and legislators survive by figuring out how to separate you from your money. These districts have been criticized as of late by Governor Abbott and Senator Bettencourt because Mayor Sly Turner refused to take money from the management districts for Hurricane Harvey cleanup. Ole Sly argued that TIRZ funds couldn’t be used for disaster relief services. Sly thinks we forgot when he raided these very funds to augment the City of Houston budget last year. Abbott certainly should have screamed “liar, liar pants on fire!” Instead, Abbott gave Turner a check for $50 million so Turner would say nice things about the Governor. Again, this was your money too. Notice that I didn’t say balance the budget because the City of Houston has not balanced its budget in 20 years. The City of Houston has been borrowing billions from employee pension fund to create the appearance of being balanced.
Giving this award to State Representative Jim Murphy (District 133) this year is fitting and proper. Jim was a sponsor of Mayor Sly’s billion dollar pension bill (SB2190) this session. Representative Murphy could be seen standing next to Dan Flynn, chairman of the house pension committee, on the House floor as the bill was being debated by (generally) Allen Blakemore clients. Jim’s recognition should not be limited to what will amount to Houston’s largest property tax increase, which will follow the passage of this horrendous bond proposal. Murphy, I am sure, got credit for killing property tax reform (SB2) in the House. And, God only knows what else TML deemed meritorious. I am sure that Allen Blakemore received an “attaboy” for the “Anti-Taxpayer MVP Political Consultant of the Year” award,
Congratulations to Jim Murphy for his victory as “Anti-Taxpayer MVP Legislator of the Year!”