[Congressional Record Volume 155, Number 93 (Friday, June 19, 2009)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1508]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                             HON. RON PAUL

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                         Friday, June 19, 2009

  Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, public officials looking for ways to 
increase economic growth and attract new residents and businesses to 
their cities, counties, or states could learn a lot from the city of 
Stafford, Texas, and Mayor Leonard Scarcella. Stafford has flourished 
since 1995 when, under Mayor Scarcella's leadership, the city 
eliminated the property tax.
  Thanks to the absence of property taxes, Stafford residents enjoy 
cheaper mortgages and have more disposable income than similarly 
situated residents of towns with property taxes. The extra income as a 
result of the freedom from property taxes is particularly beneficial 
during today's tough economic times.
  The loss of property tax revenue has not deprived Stafford residents 
of quality city services; in fact, Stafford resident Alice Rolston told 
the Houston Chronicle that the police check on her home when she is on 
vacation, many homeowners living in towns with high property taxes 
can't count on that type of service.
  Entrepreneurs looking to start up businesses are attracted to 
Stafford because of the lack of property taxes, Fortune magazine ranks 
Stafford the 36th best American city to start and run a small business.
  While Stafford sales, franchise, and permit fees account for some of 
its ability to operate without a property tax, the major factor in the 
city's success is the city's fiscally prudent management. Stafford 
Councilman Cecil Willis says the mayor watches every penny in the 
city's budget. City employees often perform two or more functions and 
the city council even debates whether to authorize the purchase of 
light bulbs and pencils.
  Madam Speaker, Mayor Scarcella is also a good argument against term 
limits, as he is one of the few elected officials who remains as 
committed to low taxes today as when he led the fight to eliminate the 
property tax. Mayor Scarcella should serve as a role model to us all in 
how to effectively govern without burdening the people with excessive