Kenric Ward - Watchdog.org
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Kenric Ward is the San Antonio-based reporter for Watchdog.org. A California native and veteran journalist who has worked on three Pulitzer Prize-winning newspapers, he received a BA from UCLA (Political Science/Phi Beta Kappa) and holds an MBA. He reported and edited at the San Jose Mercury News and the Las Vegas Sun before joining Watchdog.org in 2012 and previously reported from Virginia. Kenric can be reached at [email protected]

Cities ‘disingenuous’ on taxes, senator says

By   /  November 30, 2016  /  Budget and Spending, Legislature, News, Politics & Elections, State Government, Taxes, Texas  /  No Comments

AP photo

A battle between Texas cities and the state Legislature broke out Tuesday, with property taxpayers in the crossfire. “I side with the payers, not the spenders,” state Sen. Paul Bettencourt said in unveiling Senate Bill 2 to reform Texas’ increasingly burdensome property tax system.

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Occupational licensing rules spark backlash

By   /  November 29, 2016  /  Jobs + Growth, Labor, Legislature, News, Regulations, State Government, Texas  /  No Comments

Associated Press photo

For all its conservative credentials, Texas maintains a heavy hand in occupational licensing. Thirty-four of 102 low- and medium-income occupations — ranging from door-repair contractors to skin-care specialists to hair shampooers — are licensed under state law, according to one study.

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Grounded Phalanx operation nabbed 110,000 illegals at border

By   /  November 28, 2016  /  Arizona, Immigration, National, News, Texas  /  No Comments

AP file photo

While surveillance helicopters were grounded in Texas, the head of Customs and Border Protection called the flights critical to “countering illegal immigration” from Mexico. A government report obtained by Watchdog.org credited Operation Phalanx with apprehending 110,000 illegal border crossers.

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Tax protest study stirs Lubbock Appraisal District

By   /  November 28, 2016  /  News, Taxes, Texas  /  No Comments

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Property owners protesting appraised values in Lubbock County are more likely to succeed when they represent themselves, according to an in-house analysis reviewed by Watchdog.org.

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Texans press Homeland Security to ramp up border flights

By   /  November 22, 2016  /  Immigration, National, News, Texas  /  No Comments

AP file photo

Four days after Watchdog reported that a Mexican border surveillance program was being dismantled, three Texas officials pressed the Department of Homeland Security to reverse course.

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Best of the worst: Austin debt totals $3,000 per household

By   /  November 22, 2016  /  Budget and Spending, News, Texas, Transparency  /  No Comments

Photo by Kenric Ward

Austin’s reputation for big government spending took a bit of hit in a new report showing it has the lowest taxpayer debt of any large Texas city. Among America’s 20 largest cities, Austin had the fourth lowest taxpayer burden. But it’s no model of fiscal restraint.

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