State Reps. key in on future of rural Texas

The future of representation at the state level was the main topic of conversation at the annual meeting of the Central Texas Taxpayers Association Sunday afternoon at the Brady Middle School Cafeteria. Outgoing State Representative Bob Turner and incoming Representative Harvey Hildebran were the keynote speakers. They informed members in attendance of some of the major issues that will affect residents in McCulloch County in the near future. “A big part of my concern is not what has happened recently, but rather what is going to happen in the next legislative session,” said Rep. Turner. “Because of redistricting, rural West Texas is losing four of the best friends it has in Austin.” In his talk, Rep. Turner spoke of how he believes the increased population and the increase in demand of resources coupled with the decreased level of revenue should be a major concern to individuals in rural West Texas. “The difference in the future for towns in this region depends upon four things,” said Turner. “Leadership is first and foremost followed by water, community capability and state support. These will determine which town survives and which one doesn’t.” Rep. Turner also stressed how the future of water rights promises to become an even bigger issue and the topic of ground water and right to capture is already at the forefront of many legal issues. “Big cities will come to rural communities for water,” said Turner. “With the water shortages like they are, if you don’t voluntarily share your water, the government will force you to share it.” Harvey Hildebran (R) of Kerrville is running unopposed in the upcoming election for District 53. He will represent McCulloch County beginning in January 2003. Due to state redistricting, McCulloch will no longer be represented in District 54 by Suzanna Gratia-Hupp. In his address to the Taxpayers Association, Rep. Hildebran introduced himself to the constituents and told them that he is going to rely on input from them and others to keep him informed of what is happening in this portion of the state. “Water and property rights have been and will continue to be a big issue in Austin,” said Rep. Hildebran. “But another issue which concerns me is taxes and what we can do about them. What kind of tax relief can we expect and how can we get more value out of each dollar spent when we spend it.” Following the speakers, the business meeting portion of the meeting was postponed until a later date due to time constraints. The Central Texas Taxpayers Association is an organization of any person or entity that pays taxes in the Central Texas area. Membership is open to landowners, homeowners, business persons, industrial owners or renters. The purpose of the association is to advance, promote and preserve the rights of taxpayers who have a mutual, joint and common interest. The Association advises and consults with federal, state, county, municipal, school district, water district, hospital district and other agencies as may be proper to accomplish the purpose. The organization structure provides for representation from all communities in the area and individuals are encouraged to join the Association simply by paying $10 annual fees.

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