Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Citizens for Tax Relief Now's Press Conference

"But the former governors who were before me laid burdens on the people, and took from them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver. Yes, even their servants bore rule over the people, but I did not do so, because of the fear of God."
Nehemiah 5:15

Austin City Hall -- This afternoon, Citizens for Tax Relief Now held a press conference to discuss alternatives to the tax increase the current lame duck city council is set to impose on Austin:

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

  • Cindy Malette -- People are now paying more in property taxes than mortgages.
    • Her rent went up substantially in 2013.
    • Rail, busses, and bikes aren't viable for people with kids.
    • Affordability crisis is due to tax rate, not appraisals.
    • Effective tax rate equals tax relief now.
    • City and county are operating a dysfunctional system.
    • 90,000 people protested property taxes in 2014, only 50,000 voted in last Austin City Council election.
  • Bill Worsham -- Two paths: Either chase unicorns or promote prosperity for all Austinites.
  • Kent Philips -- City is driving gentrification.
  • Julian Fernandez -- Will lower property taxes by 20%
    • Forensic Audit and zero-based budgeting.
    • Helen Diaz, age 90, had to sell her home because of property taxes.
    • WWII vets are getting priced out in East Austin.
    • We cannot let people lose their home because of high property taxes.
  • Todd Phelps --  We're trying to retain our soul in Austin.
    • Doesn't want to wait four years for a homestead exemption.
    • Current group running city hall got us into this affordability/traffic crisis.
  • Richard Franklin -- Local Government doesn't do a cost/benefit analysis, just give $$$ to special interests.
  • Peggy Venable -- ATX is the poster child for local government debt.
    • 10 cents of every dollar Austin ISD spends goes to debt service.
  • Dean Wright -- 3 actions City/County needs to take:
    • Freeze 2014 tax rate.
    • Audit city agencies every two years.
    • Zero-based budgeting every two years.

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