Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Construction Interests Bankrolling the Austin ISD Bond....

"Like a roaring lion and a charging bear
Is a wicked ruler over poor people."
Proverbs 28:15

From Travis County Taxpayers Union:
Corporate Cronies, Special Interest Unions Contribute $81,500 to Sell AISD $Billion Tax Increase


Austin, TX -- The Travis County Taxpayer’s Union (TCTU) has analyzed and released their findings regarding the 30-day financial disclosures of the Austin ISD pro-bond campaign, and the results are alarming.

Among the biggest campaign contributors is a host of corporations, architects, contractors, lawyers, and service providers to AISD, further evidence as to who is the true beneficiary of the bond: not the students, nor the teachers, but the bureaucrats and crony capitalists who directly and monetarily benefit from the extravagant spending in the taxpayer-funded bond tax increase.  Some of the corporate donors:

ABC Home & Commercial Services - $10,000.00
Greater Austin Economic Development Corp. - $10,000.00
Education Austin PAC - $10,000.00
Heritage Title Company of Austin, Inc. - $5,000.00
Pfluger Associates, L.P. - $5,000.00
Walsh Gallegos Trevino Russo & Kyle, P.C - $5,000.00
American Constructors - $5,000.00
Bartlett Cocke General Contractors - $3,500.00
DLR Group - $3,500.00
O'Connell Robertson - $3,500.00
PBK, Inc. - $3,000.00
Encotech Engineering - $2,500.00
Ranger Excavating, L.P - $2,500.00
BLGY Architecture, Inc. - $2,500.00
Flintco, LLC - $2,500.00
Joeris General Contractors - $2,500.00
D'Amato Conversano, Inc. DBA DCI Engineers - $2,500.00
Husch Blackwell LLP - $2,500.00
JE Dunn Construction - $2,500.00
Ranger Excavating, L.P - $2,500.00
Square One Consultants - $2,000.00
Journeyman Construction, Inc. - $1,000.00
Studio 8 Architects, Inc. - $1,000.00
MWM Design Group, Inc. - $500.00

“Don’t be deceived, Austin ISD taxpayers - this is a corporate contractor’s bond,” says Don Zimmerman of TCTU. “The school district is shrinking, and no bond money is going towards our teachers. Our kids - and our educators - deserve better.”

“What this amounts to is that Austin ISD has severely mismanaged their maintenance budget - a whopping $54,000.00 per month, and is now being bankrolled by opportunistic contractors and construction companies to try and trick taxpayers into bellying up. Austin voters should not stand for this.”

Meanwhile, the district continues to claim the bond will not increase tax “rates” - a rhetorical device being used to deceive voters that borders on a lie, and perhaps even an ethics violation according to the rules set by the Texas Ethics Commission (TEC). The ballot language itself reads that, if the bond passes, Austin ISD will be authorized to increase taxes “without limit.”

Ballot Language:
The issuance of $1,050,984,000 school building bonds for the construction, acquisition, rehabilitation, renovation, expansion, improvement, modernization and equipment of school buildings in the district, including (i) technology systems and equipment, (ii) safety and security systems and equipment, (iii) improvements to address overcrowding and safety concerns, (iv) improvements for students with special needs, and (v) reinvention programs for twenty-first century learning;  the purchase of the necessary sites for school buildings;  and the purchase of new school buses, and the levy, pledge, assessment and collection of ad valorem taxes on all taxable property in the district, sufficient, without limit as to rate or amount, to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds and the costs of credit agreements executed in connection with the bonds.

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