Saturday, June 22, 2019

#TXLEGE, #atxcouncil: SB 2 already producing positive unintended consequences

"Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,
But a just weight is His delight."
Proverbs 11:1

We'll take this:
The 3.5% election trigger, known as the “rollback rate,” is a significant decrease from the 8% rate Texas cities such as Austin have operated on for years. Between the new cap and another bill that will limit the city’s ability to collect franchise fees on telecommunication companies, Ed Van Eenoo, Austin’s deputy chief financial officer, predicts a general fund budget shortfall of $18.5 million in 2021 and $58.2 million by 2024.

Preparing for budget austerity in the coming years, City Council has started discussing ways to free up tax dollars, and a growing majority support examining the possibility of backing out of the city’s active tax break deals with corporations that cost millions of tax dollars each year in exchange for investments into the local economy.

“We definitely need to look at them to see if there is any cost savings, especially before we consider cutting programs that help our most vulnerable population,” Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza said. “I think corporate incentives should be the very first thing we look at.”

Garza and Council Members Jimmy Flannigan, Greg Casar, Sabino “Pio” Renteria, Leslie Pool, Kathie Tovo and Alison Alter have all said they support, in some way, taking a look at potentially backing out of the deals.
FANTASTIC, so called "economic development deals raise taxes on average citizens to fund special favors for the politically connected.

Bottom Line: The city should never have entered into these agreements in the first place; if they're a casualty of SB 2, so much the better....

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