I have lived in Kingwood since 1989. I am 72 years old. My driving record is perfect. I drive the speed limit. When I drive on Willow Terrace Drive, Kingwood Drive, West Lake Houston Parkway and Northpark Drive, I rarely pass anyone. I mostly get passed by others driving well past the speed limit – not all teenagers, but adults driving their Audis, BMWs, Corvettes, Lexuses, SUVs and pickup trucks. Where are the Houston police to issue speeding tickets? Lots of revenue out there.
Name withheld by request
Houston doesn’t need another airport tax
As a small business owner, I always believe in never ‘nickeling and diming to death’ the client. But this time I am the client, and so are you! We all will be if the airport authorities are successful in their lobbying efforts to convince Congress to remove the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) tax cap. Never heard of the PFC? Well, for good reason, because in one of those amazing feats of Congress actually making sense through regulation, the federal government caps the PFC at $4.50 for each leg of a trip and $18 for round trips. It’s one of those small, add-on tax charges you see just before you pay. But if the airport authorities get their way, that small tax can be virtually anything the individual airports want it to be. You will wonder why my $299 ticket is suddenly $399. Keep in mind that the airport authority is requesting ‘to remove the cap,’ meaning they can tax whatever they want. There is no competition to limit this tax other than the current cap, because most cities only have one commercial airport. For a family of four, going to visit grandma or taking that summer vacation is going to cost a lot more. For a small business like mine, there are no real options but to swallow the cost. I cannot pass it on to the customer, yet face time is essential to compete and win business. Whatever that increased cost becomes, I can essentially multiply it by 1,000 flights. While it hurts small businesses more proportionately, the larger businesses also get hit hard, leaving less money for wage increases and new hires. Now I like a nice, modern, safe airport with plenty of space for expansion as much as the next guy, but I also like my tax money invested wisely. Local news channels reported last week that IAH has spent over $100 million on a new terminal with nothing to show for it. Seriously? And you want more of my money to add to the hundreds of millions already collected annually in PFCs by IAH and HOU? So, it must be that our airports are floundering or behind the times. Hardly! Terminal C at IAH was just renovated with modern shops, bars and restaurants everywhere you turn. I’ve never seen so many iPads and all available to the public while we await our boarding. We have a good thing going that is fair to all and the airports are thriving. Please don’t remove one of the few government regulations that not only makes great sense but keeps us all honest.
Editor’s note: United Airlines paid for a large part of the costs of the new terminal.
WE’RE ALL THANKFUL
Thanks so much for the great coverage regarding our ALL Open Houses this semester. Since Harvey, we have experienced a drastic decrease in membership since we had to cancel many ALL classes due to space constraints. Also, many of our members or friends of our members were affected by the flood. This coverage will really help us! I appreciate all that you do for our college.
Pat Chandler, Director
LSC-Kingwood Career and Technical Education Department
THIS SPELLS TROUBLE
If Crenshaw’s townhall meeting is any indication, Kingwood is in trouble. If you’ve ever had the chance to visit the Kingwood office for Texas’s 2nd congressional district, you’d understand it was in no way suitable to host a town hall. Overflowing and uncomfortable. It didn’t help that Crenshaw was 30 minutes late. I understand they have a name for folks who don’t respect others by their tardiness. Texans paid into the federal tax revenue to the tune of $280,048,364 in 2018. I’ve always understood that it has been the job of our representatives to fight and bring as much of that revenue back to Texas for the projects their districts need. I don’t believe we’ve had anyone in office who tops Kay Bailey’s bringing home the pork since she left office in 2013. If you have the time, I suggest you watch what Crenshaw had to say at the 2020 House Budget Committee Hearing. If you look it up on YouTube, you can find him around 1:56:57 of the video. I expect my congressman to actually speak up and fight for more of our tax dollars, especially with the vast list of projects aimed at flooding and infrastructure. The last thing I wanted to be told at the meeting is that “we got more than anyone else.” That “more” is still not enough to keep us above floodwaters. Our congressman has chosen not to bring back the money we’ve paid into the system. I’d like to add that I was told by Crenshaw’s main staffer that that property where we fought against the Heron Marina Development would be developed. Maybe she knows something that the office isn’t telling the community. She claimed not to know what would be developed, just that indeed it would be in time.