Texas is Losing Economic Freedom! Monopoly and Fees and Taxes—Oh My!

February 7, 2019

Monopolies and fees and taxes are even more scary than lions and tigers and bears (oh my!). Even though it’s against the Texas Constitution, some cities are getting away with allowing monopolies. The cities get rid of free-market competition and allow certain companies to have sole control over the market. As a result, some Texans are forced to pay outrageous costs for necessities like water and trash pick-up. To further our core value of economic freedom, we’re supporting legislation this session to put an end to ridiculous taxes and fees! 

If the free market has been stamped out in your city, and you pay shocking costs for utilities, trash removal, etc., please let us know about it here. 

Who would have thought that living in the great State of Texas could be like living under an unfair English monarchy? Way back in the 1500-1600s, kings and queens granted monopolies to increase their revenue. 

For instance, King Charles I could declare that only one soap-maker could exclusively sell in the country. Obviously, it was great for that soap-maker—now he had no competition and would get all the business. In exchange for that privilege, the soap-maker had to pay the king annual fees. “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” type of deal. 

You know whose back didn’t get scratched? The people who needed the soap—the customers. The soap-maker could just raise the price of soap to cover the fee he had to pay to the king. Since the customers had to pay higher prices for soap, they—instead of the soap-maker—were essentially paying the king’s extra fee. The king didn’t have permission from Parliament to raise taxes, but he figured out another way to get money from his subjects.

History repeats itself: the same thing is now happening in Pasadena, Texas. The City of Pasadena’s Ordinance declares that Waste Management has the “exclusive right to collect, transport, and dispose of all commercial garbage…” and is the “sole provider” of that service.  

The City has made Waste Management into a monopoly. 

Like the soap-maker example, that’s great for Waste Management—they automatically get all the business. In return for that privilege, Waste Management must pay the City a fee of 25% of the bill (before taxes). But guess who really pays that fee? Those who need trash removal. The City Ordinance even instructs Waste Management to pass that cost on to the customer, so the customer is paying a 25% fee to the City!  

Since Congress hasn’t approved a higher sales tax, the City figured out another way to get money from its subjects…I mean, citizens.  

You would think we would have more economic freedom in Texas than England did in the 1600s. Apparently not. 

Those in charge are still creating monopolies that harm customers. Such leaders are ignoring the Texas Constitution, which states, “monopolies are contrary to the genius of a free government, and shall never be allowed.” 

What about in your city—is the same unconstitutional thing happening? Tell us about it here. 

We will be working on legislation this session to bring an end to unconstitutional city policies. Please let us know what it’s like in your city so that we can help you if your city has created monopolies and hiked up your costs. If you have crazy fees listed on your water or trash bills, we want to know about it so that we can help! 

Don’t forget to forward this email to your friends and family so they can also let us know what it’s like in their city. 

Together, we can fight the “lions and tigers and bears” on your utility and trash bills—and we’ll no longer have to screech “Oh my!” every time we see the bill!

In Service,

Texas Citizens Coalition

Gary Gates started the non-profit Texas Citizens Coalition because he has a passion for individual liberty and preserving the Constitution, and it’s a fight he’s engaged in with every facet of his life. He believes a coalition is needed because it takes all of us being actively involved to move our state and country forward. We as citizens must stay informed because We the People are in charge and must hold government accountable. Gary desires to provide Texas citizens a free resource to get useful information about state government from a conservative perspective.

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