Tuesday, October 21, 2008
League of Women Voters election survey: Kevin Jackson, candidate for the Texas House Rep. - District 109
The League of Women Voters of Dallas sent a questionnaire to every candidate running for public office in Dallas County.
The League of Women Voters of Dallas sent a questionnaire to every candidate running for public office in Dallas County. The election on November 4th features a number of local races to decide state and national Senate and House of Representatives seats.
LWV: Please describe the training and experience that qualify you for this office.
Jackson: I have little training however I have experienced the direction my government has gone and I am not satisfied. I am running because my beliefs are not represented in government and because the leadership of the party that is most closely aligned with my beliefs has asked me to.
LWV: The Texas Legislature in 2007 overhauled business taxes to provide property tax relief for homeowners, but many small business owners in Texas now claim that their property tax decrease was far less than their business tax increase. What measures should be taken to maintain adequate state tax revenues without unduly burdening individual taxpayers or small business?
Jackson: Government is for the people, not for business; therefore I believe business should not be taxed. Business taxes are simply passed on the public anyway. Also, people should not be taxed because they own property (that means they don’t own the property at all). I believe sales taxes are the fairest way to generate revenue and they provide the public a view of the real costs of government
LWV: Texas deregulated electricity rates with the promise that competition between suppliers would lower consumers’ electric rates, yet rates in Texas remain well above the national average. What measures should be taken to ensure electric power reliability and affordability in Texas?
Jackson: Nothing. Ensuring fair competition is as far as government should go. However, because government has failed to do this in the past and some companies are entrenched in the market, I would not be opposed to a short term public education campaign to help people understand that it is safe to shop around for electricity.
LWV: According to the most recent published data of the Texas Office of Public Insurance Counsel, insurance industry losses in Texas have decreased by 85%, yet homeowners’ rates have fallen by only 4%. What reforms would you support to lower homeowners’ rates in Texas?
Jackson: Nothing. Government cannot force homeowners to shop for the best rates thereby encouraging the competition that lowers prices. Current insurance agreements are almost impossible for the average person to understand. Perhaps some legislation to simplify the contractual language of the insurance agreement may help facilitate comparison shopping.
LWV: The Texas legislature has not increased the gas tax since 1991, and also diverts millions of dollars of transportation funds to other areas of the state budget such as education and the Department of Public Safety. The public has voiced much disapproval of toll roads and public/private partnerships to build new roads. How would you fund construction of new roads and maintenance of existing roads and bridges?
Jackson: Diverting funds is simply wrong. I would stop that practice and increase gas taxes if needed to build and maintain roads and bridges. I also oppose toll roads and will work to stop that practice.
LWV: If diversions from the State’s transportation fund are stopped, how would you pay for those items that are currently funded by gas tax monies?
Jackson: Education, DPS and other government functions should be funded by specific taxes (the same as gas taxes are for roads) or by general sales taxes.
LWV: Currently, sales prices of most residential property are disclosed while those of commercial property are not. Do you support public disclosure of commercial real estate sales prices so as to ensure fair and accurate appraisals?
Jackson: No Response
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