Tag Archives: City Council

Statesman editorial: Tax swap “makes sense” & “an idea worth exploring”

In an editorial postSSS-Mayor-Steve-Adler-5ed on Feb. 19, 2016, The Austin American-Statesman keyed on a short portion of his State of our City address that could make a big difference in your property tax bill:

“When AISD taxes you a dollar on your tax bill, a big chunk of it leaves and isn’t available to be spent here for services. But if the city taxed you for that same dollar, all your money does stay here. Austin taxpayers could save money or get more for the taxes we pay by having the city and the school district engage in a tax swap.”

The Statesman wrote that the tax swap was “one of the more interesting proposals Austin Mayor Steve Adler cited in his state of the city address” and “an idea worth exploring as the Austin school district is expected to send evermore of its local tax revenue to the state in an arrangement that shortchanges taxpayers and students.”

If done right, a tax swap would present taxpayers with the promise of a tax cut, schools with the possibility of more money, or a combination of both, because it would result in sending less of our school tax dollars to other school districts. Right now, AISD (where 60% of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches) sends $181 million in tax revenue our of town in 2015 because of our broken school finance system. This is equal to a quarter of the school districts total Maintenance and Operations tax collections.

Meanwhile, AISD taxes the average homeowner an average of $1,000 a year. People in Austin have a lot to gain from a tax swap, and this could go a long way toward addressing our affordability crisis.

On Feb. 11, 2016, the Council approved Resolution No. 201602011-015 directing the City Manager to explore a tax swap, including the legal issues and a cost-benefit analysis. We’ll keep you posted on how this goes.

Photo credit: Stephen Spillman

Great Cities Do Big Things: The State of our City Roundup

“We are the city of the future, but what future will that be? If we do not do big things now, we will end up with the housing costs of San Francisco and the traffic congestion of Los Angeles.” -Mayor Adler

If you weren’t able to join us at the Topfer Theatre last night for the State of our City address (or watch it live on ATXN) — or if you want to catch up on what people are saying about it — you’re in luck. Consider this page your online library for all of your State of our City needs.

Read all about it after the break.

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NEWS: Mayor Adler declares Local State of Disaster to help flood recovery

Today Mayor Steve Adler declared a Local State of Disaster which remains in effect for seven days until it is ratified and extended by the City Council. An item will appear on the agenda of the special called meeting of Sunday, November 8, 2015 for ratification and extension.

“Due to the extreme amount of rainfall and record flooding that struck the City of Austin on October 30, 2015, the City is facing tremendous physical and economic losses. Tragically, there has been loss of life. Hundreds of homes and businesses have been damaged, and many more residents and families are in need of temporary housing and other individual assistance,” Mayor Adler wrote in a memo to the City Council today. “Likewise, our City departments and public utilities are incurring unanticipated costs as they support our residents and address damages to infrastructure.”

The disaster declaration allows for greater coordination with Travis County’s own disaster declaration to facilitate reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

For questions and media requests, please contact Jason Stanford, Communications Director, Office of Mayor Steve Adler, (512) 978-2153 office (512) 619-5756 cell.