PISBND Taxation Soon?

Will our area soon be taxed by the Port Isabel San Benito Navigation District (PISBND)? Currently those of us who live in this district pay no taxes, but this may soon end.

Presently, a request for an opinion by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is pending on a number of issues raised by the PISBND General Manager. The questions posed for opinion pertain to financing of dredging in and near the district, upgrading docks and roads, maintenance and operation of the Port, and possibly constructing different buildings or facilities at the Port.

The tax estimate could be as high as $.20/$100 valuation or as low as $.06/$100 valuation. This amount would be small for the average homeowner, but where and what would our tax money fund? In the opinion request, numerous times dredging is mentioned. It is stated that the tax funds could be used for “new” (virgin land) dredging of a Port Channel and providing for “maintenance” dredging for existing waterways in PISBND.

Does this mean that PISBND has plans for more dredging? If so, for what industrial purposes? What is the prime motivation at this time? LNG? Other fossil fuel exports?

With the dredging occurring for beach nourishment, the BND (Brownsville Navigation District) deep water port, and the proposed dredging for the 3 LNG Export Terminals now being reviewed for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), dredging may become a way of life to our area. Extensive and continuous dredging in our area to support heavy industry may eventually diminish the clarity of the water in the Laguna Madre leading to ecosystem collapse due to sea grass destruction.

Remember that up to 70 percent of the coastal sea grasses are found in our area. With the destruction of the sea grasses, the destruction of the ecosystem follows, and so goes the destruction of our local refuges and wildlife areas. Our area has limited natural resources and is a unique fragile ecosystem which should be preserved.

Diane Teter Laguna Vista