Sunday, December 17, 2006

This is news?

The local daily reports that the police department's records of registered sex offenders aren't particularly accurate. When the site first went up, I can remember checking it out of idle curiosity and finding that the people supposedly living in the vicinity of the adobe hacienda were registered at addresses for which there were no numbers having residences on the streets named. I'm not going to sign in, as is required these days in order to be able to view the records, but I bet this is still true. With today's GIS records, one would think it to be impossible to carry such non-existent addresses, but perhaps not. There's a huge flaw in the TCAD data base as well; it's possible for people to get homestead breaks on more than one property within Travis County, sometimes several, because there seems to be no good lookup feature or cross-reference check and certainly no provision for checking out names that are not identical although similar enough so that they may in fact be variations of the appellation of just one person. Cross-checking for multiple homestead exemptions taken by one owner, an owner who claims homestead exemptions in more than one county (e.g., Williamson and Travis or Hays and Travis), would no doubt net new revenues for all local taxing jurisdictions. The taxing jurisdictions are missing out because of multiple homestead exemptions, and there's plenty of fooling around with what the land-use ordinances permit as well.


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