Posts Tagged ‘District 150’



September 16, 2008



AUSTIN – It has been brought to our office’s attention that some of the information in yesterday’s release may not have been accurate or may already be outdated.  Reprinted with permission from the Tomball Potpourri website now is a list of PODs at which ice, water, and food are available as of 1:45 C.S.T. on Sep 16:


  • Old Kroger Location, FM 2920 at Highway 249 in Tomball
  • Greenspoint Harvest Time Baptist Church, 17770 Imperial Valley
  • Community of Faith, 1023 Pinemont
  • Fountain of Praise, 13950 Hillcroft
  • Texas Southern University, 3600 Rosewood at Scott
  • Ripley House, 4410 Navigation
  • Zion Lutheran, 3606 Beauchamp
  • Jim Ponteno Courthouse Annex, 14350 Wallisville, Channelview
  • PAL Gym, 2910 E. Southmore, Pasadena
  • Baker Junior High, 9700 Spencer Highway, La Porte
  • San Jacinto Community Center, 604 Highland Woods, Highlands
  • West Town Mall, 4100 Decker, Baytown
  • Baytown Courthouse Annex, 710 West Baker, Baytown
  • Windsor Village, 6000 Heatherbrook
  • Greater Jerusalem, 8901 Jensen
  • Raul C. Martinez Annex, 1001 S. Sgt. Macario Garcia
  • Football Stadium, Center & Augustine, Deer Park
  • Second Baptist, 6400 Woodway
  • Bay Area Community Center, 5002 NASA Road One, Seabrook


Additionally, a Red-Cross shelter is open in Tomball at Christbridge Fellowship Church.  The Red Cross asks that those who wish to stay at the shelter bring pillows and bedding; diapers and formula for your children; prescription medicines; toiletries; food to meet any special dietary needs they may have. These current shelters can not accommodate pets.


Our office has been receiving calls from constituents requesting a POD site to be open in Spring.  Representative Riddle has been working throughout the day to attempt to secure a site in Spring, and our office will send out a press release as soon as that information is available. 


We have also been receiving several phone calls about power outages and water outages.  It is our understanding that in some areas, water service may actually be active but not accessible due to power outages.  Some areas will require the restoration of their power before they will see a restoration in their water service.  We have been assured by all management districts and power providers that they are working as quickly as possible.   


If you are attempting a return back to the Houston area or have family or neighbors who are thinking of making the return, this is still not in the area’s best interest.  We are receiving calls from stranded motorists who do not have any fuel or any way to obtain additional fuel at this time.  If you must return to the area, please make sure that you are self sufficient for UP TO ONE WEEK, including plenty of food, fresh water, fuel, and any other supplies you might need. 


The wait for gas in the district is still as long as three hours at the few stations that are currently operational.  Please do not leave your house if at all possible, as it will consume valuable fuel. 


Every hour, more residences and businesses are having their power and water restored.  Progress is being made, and there are countless volunteers working without sleep and without supplies to get the area back on its feet absolutely as fast as possible.  Please do not hesitate to contact our office in Austin at 512-463-0572 with any additional questions or concerns.  When our district office is operational again, we will alert the public. 

Stay up to date with Spring Texas Information at


Rep. Riddle on Margin’s Tax

June 12, 2008

While browsing the blogs today (Thursday, June 05), I found myself lingering over Jason Embry’s “Postcards from the Lege” regarding the state’s margins tax.  His overall assessment of the attitudes regarding the margins tax were generally right on.  He did, however, breeze straight through a point I think could use a little more discussion.  He wrote “in the end, the plan was a net tax cut, because it cut more money in property taxes than it was projected to raise.”

True, the Texas Tax Reform Commission made all kinds of claims about the vast savings  both businesses and citizens would realize under this new, magical margins tax when it was pressed upon legislators in 2007.  But even in the midst of the campaign to earn votes for the plan, legislators like myself, who opposed the tax from its inception, knew the estimates were inaccurate and the rhetoric was skewed. 

The state never had in mind a goal of achieving a net tax cut, because that would mean that the state would have less to spend.  In fact, lawmakers created two other taxes, the cigarette tax and the motor-vehicle tax, just to make sure we didn’t create a deficit.  Despite repeated promises from the Commission that most businesses would somehow end up paying less while the state would end up reaping more, the math never made sense.  All the while, we were sitting on top of an $8 billion surplus with only $6 billion needed to pay for property tax reductions. Yet the legislature chose to create new taxes rather than giving back what the state had overcharged. 

Now, with ten days left before businesses have to write a check for their new taxes, it’s obvious that someone in the state has to be seeing a huge net tax increase.  The comptroller estimates that this new margins tax is going to generate $11.9 billion dollars, more than twice what the old franchise tax would have generated. 

So whose footing the bill?  Not the big corporations who were exploiting the loopholes in the old franchise tax.  This time around, it’s small business owners, who make up 97 percent of the all the businesses in Texas.  Recent surveys by the National Federation of Independent Business indicate that as much as 84 percent  of small business owners are going to see their tax burden increase by more than 100 percent, and more than 40 percent of those who saw an increase in their state tax liability will now face an increase of more than 500 percent over their previous bill.   

But businesses will see a huge reduction in property taxes, right?  Doesn’t look like it.  In Harris County alone last year, commercial appraisals were up more than 30 percent, already wiping out any supposed savings from the tax-swap.  Dallas County reports increases of more than 20 percent.  In Travis County, as reported by the Statesman, commercial appraisals are up almost 10 percent.  No net reductions to be found there.  Just more fuel added to a Texas-size tax-and-spend machine.

With an overall budget of more than $160 billion and surpluses that constantly hover in the tens of billions of dollars, Texas has had every opportunity to create real net tax cuts for both our small  businesses and our private citizens by identifying government waste and reducing how much the state spends.  Instead, the legislature has chosen to single out the very backbone of our economy, the small businessperson, and ask them to give 500 percent more than they are already contributing to state coffers.  If we don’t see the error of this new tax and take steps to fix it, or better yet, repeal it altogether, there won’t be any small businesses left to tax. 


Debbie Riddle

State Representative

District 150