Columns/Opinions

Wed
29
May
Edgar's picture

‘South and West Texans should not have to decide whether to put food on the table or fill their prescription’

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HURD ON THE HILL

Access to medical care and affordable prescriptions is a real problem for many in the 23rd District of Texas.

While in Congress I have consistently supported legislation to increase access to and decrease costs of healthcare and make sure our seniors receive the benefits they have rightfully earned.

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Sun
26
May

BREAKING: State Legislature property tax bill cuts newspaper notice

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UPDATE: We received word Sunday afternoon that the amendment in SB 2 will not cut all tax-related notice requirements from newspapers, just the final adopted tax rate notice. Also, House and Senate actually voted on the final conference committee version of the bill, not an amendment. That final conference committee version - filed quietly late Friday afternoon - included the change in notice requirements for adopted tax rates. On Saturday, both the House and Senate voted to adopt a resolution that allowed consideration of the final version. The resolution explained the change as "necessary to remove the requirement that the designated officer or employee of a taxing unit publish certain tax information in a newspaper." Immediately after adopting the final version, each chamber conducted a straight up-or-down vote on final passage with no further amendments. Both chambers passed the bill, voting overwhelmingly along party lines. 

 

Wed
22
May
Edgar's picture

I Can Explain Everything

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IT’S THE PITTS

Any day now I expect to get an email from one of the many editors of the magazines and newspapers who run this column informing me they no longer want my essays because I can’t relate to the millennial generation. To which I say, “Their parents can’t even relate to them and they’ve been living in the same house with them for 26 years, so how do they expect me to?”

They say this because of...

• My continuing reference to things or people that only old geezers like myself have heard of, such as Pall Mall cigarettes, Rexall Drug, soda fountains and the two Andys, Andy Griffith and Andy Williams.

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Wed
22
May
Edgar's picture

To the Class of 2019, the world awaits

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WHAT’S ON MY MIND

Another school year has come and gone. As the Class of 2019 prepares for graduation, I want to offer some advice from someone who was in their shoes when this class was being born.

When you walk across that stage, you are entering into another part of your life.

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Wed
15
May
Edgar's picture

Standing with Israel against terrorism

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By WILL HURD

HURD ON THE HILL

Sirens blaring loudly in the distance. Bright streaks of light in the sky. Deadly explosions seconds later. This is not a scene from a war movie. These are the sights and sounds in Israel today in 2019. On the weekend of May 4, Hamas and other terrorist groups fired more than 600 rockets into Israel from the Gaza strip. Their aim is to kill innocent civilians and sow chaos. But the Israelis have remained strong, and I am proud to stand behind our greatest ally in the Middle East.

Wed
15
May
Edgar's picture

Improving sales with customer relationships

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By ALEJANDRO CATAÑON

BUSINESS TIPS

What is the number one goal most businesses strive for? If you said more sales, you are right. Look across almost every industry in business and you find that they are focused on growth. Increasing revenue by driving sales. The most successful businesses, however, are not only focused on acquiring new customers to drive sales. They are focused on bringing back repeat customers.

Think about a business where you love to shop. How many times do you shop or purchase there on a given week or month? Do the math for how much you spend in a year. You should arrive at a fairly good sum of money. Now multiply that by 10 (years) that is the value you bring to that business. Imagine hundreds of other loyal customers. That’s a lot of sales, all from established loyal customers. Statistically speaking it costs 5-25 times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one.

 

Wed
08
May
Edgar's picture

Property tax reform bill goes to conference committee

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STATE CAPITAL HIGHLIGHTS

AUSTIN — The Texas House of Representatives on May 1 passed Senate Bill 2, legislation proposing to bring property tax relief to homeowners, but the lower house slowed the bill’s momentum by tacking on 25 floor amendments.

If finally passed in the coming days, the legislation would lower the rollback rate for most local taxing authorities from 8 percent to 3.5 percent and 2 percent for school districts. The bill also allows local option elections on proposals to exceed rollback rates.

SB 2, like House Bill 1, the state budget bill, is now in the hands of a conference committee of five House members and five Senate members tasked with producing a final, agreed-to version. Meanwhile, all eyes are on the calendar and the clock as constitutional deadlines set in and the May 27 end of the session grows near.

 

 

Wed
08
May
Edgar's picture

Don’t Call Me That

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Don’t call me a rancher. I don’t deserve it.

Even though I’ve owned cattle since I was a sophomore in high school i’ve never been a “rancher”. I had my first “cow herd” as a junior in high school consisting of 4 registered Angus heifers and a bull and my first job out of college was being a cowboy, But I still wasn’t a rancher. Even when I had 100 cows, two loads of stockers on grass and 100 head of fat heifers in a feedlot I never considered myself a rancher. A cattleman? Yes. A rancher? No.

Even though I aspired to be one ever since I rode my first horse, I never was a rancher because I never owned a ranch. Although I had all the accouterments: a Stetson, silver buckle, boots, a cow dog to ride in the back of my truck, a rope, spurs, a pair of hay hooks and a brand (US on the right hip), I never had that one thing that would make me a rancher: real estate.

 

 

Wed
08
May
Edgar's picture

Betting the legislative session on one big issue

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This is the kind of column that could have the shelf life of a ripe banana. It’s that time in a legislative session where things are in flux. Everything could change in an instant, with a change in the demeanor of a key senator or representative. And we’re talking about a tax bill in a Legislature that is allergic to tax bills and that considers them as much with emotion as with rationale. They want the money, but they are freaked out about how voters might react — about whether voters will love cuts in one tax enough to forgive lawmakers for raising another tax to pay for it.

That’s not the only politically hazardous piece of this ambitious and precarious package. Lawmakers have taken several tough votes already, and they have more in front of them.

Wed
08
May
Edgar's picture

Protecting Texas Taxpayers: property tax reform, school finance remain top topics

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The final month of the 86th Legislature is here: with an end date of May 27, we have less than three weeks remaining. Property tax reform and school finance remain top topics of discussion, something that is hardly news to loyal readers. I am happy to report these discussion have turned into legislative action.

The Senate version of the Texas Property Tax Reform and Relief Act of 2019 passed last month; the House passed its version last week. It now remains for the two chambers to agree on a final product. As Lt. Governor Dan Patrick put it at a recent press conference with the Governor and Speaker of the House, the Legislature is at the “5-yard line” with property tax reform. All that is left is one final push, scoring property tax relief for all Texans.

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