Saturday, September 11, 2004

9/11 Remembered

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." -- Thomas Jefferson

"They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-- Benjamin Franklin, to the Penn State Legislature

County Budget to be Approved Monday
WCM: Published Thursday, September 9, 2004

“After any final tweaking on Thursday, the budget will be formally approved on Monday, Sept. 13, at 9 a.m. The budget approval will finalize the 3 percent pay raise that commissioners unanimously approved for all elected officials and full-time employees.

The county approved its tax rate of 44.153 cents per $100 valuation last week. Auditor Ann McCuiston’s revenue figures show that rate, plus substantial increases in appraisals, are projected to bring in almost $2 million more in taxes - an increase of roughly 19 percent. . . .

Precinct budgets, which include debt payments for vehicle leases, dropped in three of the four precincts . . .

Kevin Burns, commissioner for Precinct 2, whittled his budget 6.7 percent – again because of a drop in equipment purchases and lease payments. Like Stephens, he increased his funding for road construction and materials. . . .”

Unified Road Project
WCM Published Thursday, September 2, 2004

“One of the very last things the Wise County commissioners did Monday on the 2005 budget may well turn out to be one of the most significant.Commissioners approved – unanimously – to designate one-half cent of the county tax for a “unified road project”.The first project targeted is the paving of County Road 4668, also known as Bobo Crossing. It connects Farm Road 718 to FM 730 south of Boyd.

It’s a project that has been near and dear to Precinct 3 Commissioner Mikel Richardson, who has lobbied for several years in an effort to have the road paved.

At that point, he got support from Precinct 2 Commissioner Kevin Burns, who said he would be “willing to give up a little” of his precinct funds on a one-time basis. . . .”

Rollback Rate Approved
WCM Published Thursday, September 2, 2004

Judge Dick Chase and the county commissioners unanimously approving the proposed tax rate of 44.153 cents per $100 valuation. “It marks more than a 6-cent reduction over last year’s rate of 50.44 cents. . . . While commissioners might have anticipated criticism, especially since appraised values in the county jumped by 24 percent over last year, they instead earned praise.”


American Flag Can Now Be Flown in Heritage Place Development in Euless

The Heritage Place Homeowners Association members voted Monday, August 31st, to revise a deed restriction and allow flags to be flown as long as they are not larger than 5 feet by 8 feet, and not faded or damaged.


Consumers for Housing Choice: Aren’t We Glad that Most of Us Don’t Have to Deal with this - Yet???

“Consumers for Housing Choice was formed to address that problem by working to eliminate local government land use policies that require nearly all new housing to be situated within privately governed common interest developments.

CHC believes such policies are unfair to homebuyers who prefer to be governed by a county or municipal government, and who don’t want to assume the unique risks and obligations that come with government by a private homeowners association. In addition, restricting homebuyer choice fosters an unfair double taxation scheme since homeowners end up paying what amounts to two local property tax bills: homeowners associations assessments as well as county and municipal property taxes.”

Note: One of the unique risks and obligations of living in a Common Interest Development (POAs and HOAs etc.) is the necessity to pay ever-increasing assessment fees (dues). Like banks and the tax collector, homeowners associations have special rights when it comes to taking your house to collect their dues. Your homeowners association has a contractual lien on your home, and if you don't pay your association dues, they have the right to foreclose on your home. In Texas, as in many other states, failure to pay these assessment fees can result in non-judicial foreclosure! In other words, the association can take your house and sell it and you have no access to judicial process -nor does The Texas Homestead Act protect you.


"The more restrictions and prohibitions in the world, the poorer people get."
– Lao Tzu

Skyrocketing Insurance Rates = Skyrocketing Homeowner Association Assessments

“What most non-board owners are unaware of is the fact that these skyrocketing rates are due to abuses and fraudulent practices engaged in by property managers, homeowner association attorneys, board members and the defense lawyers brought in by the insurance carriers when it becomes time to clean up a homeowner association mess created by the "experts" such as CACM, CAI, & ECHO. These "friendly" homeowner association vendors rely on multi-million dollar insurance policies to protect the homeowner association factory machinery.”


What If You Can Buy the House but You Can’t Qualify for the Insurance???

Most people are not aware that there significant differences between a "credit score" and an "insurance credit score”. Did you know that you could qualify for a mortgage loan and still not qualify for homeowners insurance? “Many of the new laws enacted within the last year require the insurance departments to track complaints regarding insurance credit scoring. This is the only way to let the Insurance Commissioners and their staff to know what is really going on in your state and how consumers are being affected. You may feel this is a waste of time and your department of insurance is able to do nothing. While this will most likely not grant immediate relief, again it is the only way for states to track the information.

If you received an adverse action letter, the name of the vendor who supplied the information for the score as well as the address and phone number of the vendor will be listed on the letter. This allows you to obtain a copy of the credit report from which the score was calculated. Be sure to order your free report and correct any errors you find (the credit bureau/vendor will supply a dispute form with the report) and call your agency for re-rating once the errors are corrected. Correcting errors can be a lengthy and frustrating process but there are numerous resources for consumers on the internet. Most state's credit scoring laws require your insurance company to re-rate you and provide a refund if necessary.”

Texas Watch has prepared a consumer tips manual: Credit Scoring and Insurance. The manual helps consumers make sure credit scoring does not unfairly raise their auto or homeowners insurance rates.

Learn About Insurance Credit Scoring

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