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    May 20, 2018

    City of Houston Property Tax Collections Have Risen Nearly 3X Wages

    As most of you know, in 2004 Houstonians voted to limit the amount that City Council can raise property tax collections each year without voter approval.  The limitation is the sum of population growth and inflation, but not greater than 4.5%.  Notwithstanding this limitation, the City’s property tax collections since 2006 (the first year the...
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    May 7, 2018

    “Let’s Raise Taxes for More Police”: We Saw this Movie in 2006

    Last week it was suggested that Houston voters should agree to pay more in property taxes in order to hire more police.  We have already done that once, in 2006.   Perhaps before we rush to allow the City to increase property taxes by more than the 4.5% annual amount the City charter now allows[i], we...
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    May 2, 2018

    Has Violence Increased or Decreased Throughout History?

    Recently, I did an informal poll of Facebook asking my friends whether they had the impression that violence had increased or declined throughout human history. Most thought it had remained about the same. A few felt it had increased. Several, who had read Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of our Nature, got the answer right, which...

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