Supports Proposition 2

RECEIVED Mon., Oct. 27, 2008

Dear Editor,
    Why Proposition 2 should be supported: Mr. Bunch of the Save Our Springs Alliance ["Postmarks,” Oct. 24] raised an important legal matter as to why Proposition 2 should be supported: that the agreement with Domain was illegal under Texas law. I will offer that, as an underpinning legal and philosophical argument, the act of local governments in giving tax breaks of this sort to specific entities (always very large business interests) violates the equal protection of the laws. While I am not going to spend time arguing the actual legal question, it is obvious that these giveaways benefit these groups without any proof that the rest of the community or the local government actually benefits from them. As a result, the hardworking property owners and small-business owners wind up paying for these unwise transactions. The only money that should be given to such developments are for specific costs incurred by the developers that could be providing infrastructure normally provided by a local government (such as putting in streets and water lines). It is clear that the Domain is getting much more than what it spent on any infrastructure. Many friends of mine in small businesses here get little support from the city government, particularly when it comes to understanding the myriad regulations and departments that a business person has to deal with. I have no problem undoing an illegal and immoral contract in which the city of Austin should never have been involved. I think the city of Austin should lead the way in showing all governmental entities that these acts of favoritism and giving away benefits to a few is immoral and should be stopped.
Lamar B. Piboin Jr.
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