A Reasonable Tax

RECEIVED Wed., Oct. 21, 2020

Dear Austin voters,
    A few things to please consider when going to vote on Props A and B this election:
    1) The promised 40 - 45% share of federal funding for this project has not even been applied for, much less approved (and may never be with current economic conditions)
    2) No traffic studies were done showing impact or that this is the best plan and option for our city, based on any alternative options
    3) No engineering or environmental studies will be done unless it passes, guaranteeing time and cost overruns when the ‘unexpected’ pops up
    4) Cap Metro has not secured the right of way on all of these rail or bus lines yet, so they don’t really have a ‘plan,’ just a pretty map and some buzzwords
    5) Cap Metro and the city have proven time and again they cannot manage projects, bonds, or our tax money responsibly or transparently (Library, Waller Creek, homeless initiative? Traffic improvements? etc., ad infinitum)
    6) The tax increase (25% of city of Austin, 4% of your total) is the permanent minimum and will go up with appraisal and property values
    7) 7 billion is being asked of already overburdened taxpayers, when so many have lost jobs and are struggling just to pay bills
    All of this begs the questions: Why is city council so desperate to siphon our hard-earned money in the form of a huge property tax hike without a definitive plan or accounting in place? Why now? Who will benefit from this immediate tax grab while we wait 3-5 years for them to do the studies they haven’t even started? While I agree we need to do something about traffic congestion, I am not convinced this is it. I would vote for a reasonable tax for a well-studied and complete plan, this just seems like abject greed with no accountability. And they will want more. I for one am tired of this ‘take the money first, make the plan later’ attitude.
Shawna Blount
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