Letter to the editor: Voters said ‘No thanks’ to more taxes

Emily Cook

Dear editor,

On Tuesday, 11 percent of Liberty County’s eligible voters turned out to the polls and voted “NO” to every tax increase requested by our current government.

Liberty County even voted down a statewide proposition that would allow county governments to finance certain infrastructure through bonds. Just seeing the words “finance” and “government” in the proposition’s wording caused voters to say, “No thanks.” That speaks volumes.

Why? The answer is easy.  Normal, hard-working citizens are saying, “It doesn’t matter how worthy your project may be, “I literally have no more money to give you.” The response should not be one of talking down to the voters or expressing disappointment that an unrelated second tax increase didn’t pass, throwing in the “but it’s for the children” line for good measure.

No one is against healthcare.

No one hates the kids.

What people are unhappy about is the seemingly tone-deaf nature of our leaders – from local boards to the White House.  As I, and others, told the Liberty City Council and the Liberty County Hospital District #1, families have to set priorities when money is tight; and so does the government.  

What should have occurred in our community is for area elected leaders to have gotten together, acknowledged the pain caused by Boomerang’s decreased valuations, and then identified what should be the priority for the next year to improve life of Liberty County citizens.  Was it a new hospital?  Was it keeping the school district on budget?  Was it bailing out Cleveland ISD? Was it road improvements, or the upcoming county-wide tax for a new drainage district? The answer, quite simply, cannot be “all of the above.”

Voters aren’t dumb. They’re pastors. They’re small business owners. They’re parents. And over the past two weeks, they rose up and said, “Whoa, wait a minute, what exactly is everyone doing?” 

What our elected leaders can take from this lesson is this: Work together, across city lines and across the river.  The days of fiefdoms are over. 

Emily Cook

Liberty, Texas attorney

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.


  1. Thank you for sharing. Your very intuitive and well spoken. Hopefully the powers that be will pay attention to your article.

  2. About time the voters wizened-up and stopped this constant spending! People are LOSING THEIR HOMES so the developers (such as Colony Ridge outside of the City of Plum Grove!) can get brand new schools built which they then use to attract ever more people to buy their little lots…. making them ever wealthier at Liberty County residents expense, and that ain’t right! Hello! ENOUGH!

  3. And why is Cleveland ISD in such a “pickle”? It’s called “Colony Ridge” (whose non-border Colonias are located all around and outside of the City of Plum Grove, Plum Grove being even more-so in a “pickle” as a result)! Yet Liberty County Commissioners Court continues to rubber-stamp every plat the developer brings to the courthouse (ignoring the Liberty County Rules for New Subdivision Development, I might add!), even though the taxpayers of the county cannot begin to afford all the needs of these huge new non-border Colonias and the infrastructure just doesn’t exist to support them! That single developer has in fact spent around $1 million dollars on Gov Abbot’s re-election fund to date and loves to take politicians on lavish hunting trips etc…. effectively buying the Texas Governor’s office! While people in Liberty County are losing their homes because there is just no way they can begin to pay the now extremely inflated property valuations from the county tax assessor’s office! That ain’t right people, it just ain’t. 🙁

  4. No they won’t sell the donated property. The Picketts will take it back. There is nothing in it for them now no way to make money

  5. I respectfully disagree, and I have been a Republican all of my life! This community is in great need of a new hospital, and I am saddened by what has taken place! The Picketts were kind enough to donate the land for the hospital for the betterment of the community. They didn’t have to do that, and I am so grateful to them. Has there been waste…like the million dollar highway to no where? Yes! However, not every tax increase is bad or harmful, and I am willing to pay my fair share.

    • You’re probably correct in what you have said here. The area does need a hospital etc…. The problem is, the idiots in office have made so many terrible investment decisions with everyone’s money that no one trusts them any longer. There is a lack of accountability. If these peoples make a bad investment there is no repercussion like; let’s say, if you do the same with your personal monies then you feel the pain. In these cases they do not.

  6. Only 5% of Liberty County voted “No”. That is NOT representative of the entire community, and that does NOT represent me and my family! Again… I am a staunch Republican and a Trump POLICY supporter, and LPAC does NOT represent me at all!

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