Re: June 16 article, “Big Ass Fans founder buys Lance Armstrong’s Austin home.”
The American-Statesman recently reported the sale of Lance Armstrong’s Old Enfield neighborhood home. This article reminded us — once again — of the continuing inequities in our property tax system. The home was listed for sale at $7.5 million, but was appraised and paying taxes on a value of only $2.85 million. Thus, taxes on over $4 million were being avoided. This is not an anomaly.
The Travis Central Appraisal District regularly underappraises high-end homes and commercial properties, shifting the tax burden for our schools, roads, police and other services to Travis County residents of more modest financial means. Those who wish to do something about high property taxes should first look at the appraisal districts. The time for fair, accurate and equitable appraisals is long since overdue.
LUTHER ELMORE, AUSTIN
Most Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana, and Texans are no exception. It’s great that a very small, specific group of people in Texas can access medical cannabis, but it’s not enough.
I have metastatic breast cancer and deserve access to a safe, effective plant that helps with side effects from my treatments, as do many others with chronic diseases. Our many veterans with mental illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder would benefit from access to legal marijuana. Texas should be a leader when it comes to policy, but it is behind on this issue.
I hope the many people running for governor this November will think about this topic and how important it is to many Texans. We want someone in office who represents us — and we’ll pick the best person for that job.
HEATHER BENFIELD, LULING
Donald Trump voters are frequently described by Democratic pundits as racist, Nazis and undeserving of common courtesy, such as eating a dinner without being harassed.
Although I do not personally like President Trump, his policies are the policies I support — and I think he is much more effective and smarter than the media pundits who reflexively oppose everything he says and does.
I am a Trump supporter. I grew up opposing the religious right, and I oppose the radical left for the same reasons. I have an engineering degree, an MBA, and an IQ in the 96th percentile. I am not and have never been racist, homophobic, misogynist or religious.
You may think I am wrong to support Trump — but if you adopt the tactics of the radical left, that says much more about you than it says about me.
CHARLES DOTY, AUSTIN
“The presidency is not merely an administrative office. That’s the least of it. It is more than an engineering job, efficient or inefficient. It is pre-eminently a place of moral leadership.” Jon Meacham uses President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s quote in his latest book, “The Soul of America.”
FDR’s wisdom highlights the deficiency of the current administration. Meacham’s book reminds us that we have, in the past, overcome division and fear when citizens and administrations work together with hope and purpose. We need to rededicate ourselves to relearning what it takes to be, and remain, a democracy.
JANE WILSON, KYLE
Everyone hates a line-cutter, especially people who are in line. The rule began in grade school. You don’t cut in line unless you wish to be sent to the back of the line. All those who are educated know that rule. There are many rules in life and they are generally set in place for the good of all.
Many philosophers have contended that is more important to serve the greater good of the group than our own selfish desires. So, when we consider immigration, why would that rule not be imposed? Is it not more important to consider the rights of those in line first rather than those who enter our country illegally, thus breaking in line? They set their own needs ahead of those who are following the rules. Why would they not be sent to the back of the line? Think about it.
CAROLE WHITE, ROUND MOUNTAIN
Our government has kidnapped thousands of children from asylum-seeking parents who have traveled thousands of miles on foot to flee brutal rape and murder in their home countries.
Some say this brutality is related to the Central American death squads and criminal gangs our CIA influenced — could that be so?
These asylum seekers have headed to “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Just like so many of our parents and grandparents. They want to live free, work hard, contribute to our common good and economy, which their families make stronger — as refugees did by creating our country. They have made our country great.
Has the president, his party and staff created this chaos with their “be afraid” language, hate-speak and executive orders?
The whole world is watching. Some are acting.
RICHARD HALPIN, AUSTIN
Re: June 26 commentary, “Politics obscures the truth about border separations.”
Cal Thomas obscures the truth about border separations.
There is no better example of that than the overwhelming number of Letters to the Editor that appeared on the very same page as his column. Those letters indicated that Trump created the terrible and tragic separation of children at our southern border that is now dominating the national news — not the Democrats or major media, as he claimed.
FRED HAZEN, LAKEWAY