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Major League Sucker

RECEIVED Mon., Aug. 20, 2018

Dear Editor,
    Whether they are “tax-and-spend Democrats” or “read-my-lips Republicans,” Austin City Council just doesn't get it. First: Taxation without representation went out of style centuries ago. Second, if Austin is such a desirable soccer place, why isn't the L.A. team moving here? It has happened in the “other football.” As for the four nay votes, locking arms over a much more important issue that might offer a saner solution than the City Council's hidden soccer tax increases. [See "Council Approves Deal for Soccer at McKalla Place," Daily News, Aug. 15.]
    Political chicanery used to be cheaper in Austin with only seven at-large members. Now with 11 members, more push is needed, so Precourt [Sports] Ventures hired a lobbyist in Austin. I allege that the money did not stop there.
    There are two opportunities that the Austin City Council is blindly missing. First, instead of a soccer stadium, City Council might spend funds more wisely on a reinvention of the Armadillo World Headquarters. It will fit nicely on the site, with parking included. It will be a small- to medium-sized music venue that will be designed to include food truck spaces. Improvement on the former Armadillo “nachos” will be a Council provision along with less pretentiousness than the snobby ACL theatre. There will be music and tax revenue all in one place because hippies like to share.
    Second and even more bold, why stop at the Precourt [Sports] Ventures soccer team. While we're "bargain hunting," let's pick up the Cleveland Browns and the Cleveland Cavaliers and build a tax-free sports complex. Ohio teams must be a bargain considering the highest-paid players have ominously left.
    Bad things happen when good people do nothing which is why there were four nay votes. Maybe we need a RECALL vote in the seven yea districts to measure voter sentiment after the true tax impact of soccer is assessed on the constituencies. I predict a landslide in the four nay districts as voters reaffirm their approval of Council members who represent them and not special interests.
    Recall: It may be the only hope for obtaining accountability in government.
    Soccer tax is a sucker tax.
Chris Gallo
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