Home Columnist THE WEEKENDER by Clyde Black: What the heck is that?

THE WEEKENDER by Clyde Black: What the heck is that?


Somewhere in my past I was told not to complain about problems without offering a solution. I admit that I haven’t always followed that direction.  I have tried.  Right here in our county we recently lost our hospital.  Many good people lost jobs and of course our citizens lost a valuable resource. I’m not a financial expert by any means but it occurs to me that we might simply not have the tax base to provide a hospital. I’m not blaming anybody. It’s just the way it is. Hospitals and the providers have to be paid and if they aren’t they can’t survive. 

I have an idea for you to consider.  If you like it please contact your representatives. If not, well, it’s just another of the Weekender’s ideas.  In our county and other small counties we are limited in how we can generate income.  Taxes of various sorts are the main source. As a Justice of the Peace one of my duties is to collect traffic fines.  Many believe that those dollars go to the county.  Not quite true.  Depending on the violation, 65% or more goes to the state of Texas.  The State calls them fees.  There is a fee for something called a “traffic fee”.  What the heck is that?  Another few dollars goes to a fee called administration of state programs.  Another goes to a fund for pay increases for district judges.  These fees go on to gobble up a huge percentage of what we in our office of the county are forced, by law, to collect. 

Without proposing any new fees could we please get maybe a dollar or two from each ticket written to stay here in our county designated to help fund the hospital district?  The big counties of our state are raping us.  We pay the same percentages to the state that they do and we have none of the services they have.   They can spare a dollar or two of the tickets they collect to help counties of say under 50,000 in population.  We do not have their tax base.  They want our water and our land for recreation and retirement opportunities so they need to invest in our local hospital services.   With no new fees or taxes, by simply adjusting a few bucks to a new program to help fund local rural hospitals everyone’s future and health needs can be helped. 

Let’s not forget that I’m just a dumb old country boy but maybe it can work.  If you agree let your representatives know.  I’ve already discussed this with our county judge and I’ve emailed Trent Ashby.  If you agree please speak up.  If not please forgive the old Weekender for trying.  God Bless Houston County.