Yes, it is totally true — the City wants to raise your energy, water and property taxes by an average of $265 per year. Sign this petition/letter to the 4 members of the Council up next for reelection — Mayor Leffingwell, and Councilmembers Cole, Martinez and Spelman. They must end unnecessary projects and the practice of the “growth lobby” (aka the big boy developers and the real estate lobby) offloading the costs of growth onto current residents. As we say at ChangeAustin.org, ‘welcome to Austin, but pay your own way’ and growth must pay for itself. Sign here and pass it on, folks, or forever hold your peace on Austin’s affordability.
You can ALSO print out the Petition-No Tax Rate Hikes 2012 City Budget here, take it around and mail it back to us by September 10th, before the City Council votes on September 12.
|Bill Oakey: What Citizens Must Do About the City Budget
Bill is one of the most effective citizen activists in Texas who got the Texas legislature to enact two bills into law. One was the over-65 freeze on school property taxes. The other was a “truth in taxation” law, which reformed the guidelines for public hearing notices on property taxes published by all statewide taxing entities. Currently, Bill is working on plans to address out-of-control property tax and utility rate increases in the Austin area.
Travis County gets 70% of its money from City of Austin taxpayers. But where does the money get spent? Who benefits and where do they live? Brian will present a sneak peak of the new 27 page tax equity study to be unveiled in two weeks.
Brian Rodgers wowed a crowd that gathered at McKinney Roughs Nature Trail on March 19th in Cedar Creek at the “Texas Water Wars: Is there a solution and who decides” conference sponsored by Independent Texans, Environmental Stewardship, Lost Pines Sierra Club and Neighbors for Neighbors. Here’s his 14 minute talk on water and the dangerous plans by the “growth machine” to continue moving precious groundwater to unsustainable (water poor) developments — and make current residents pay for it. You can watch the rest of the videos on the Independent Texans You Tube channel. Make growth pay for itself y’all!
On Monday, September 13th, 2010, the Austin City Council raised water rates and property taxes in the midst of a recession, despite receiving thousands of petitions and phone calls. “Amid declining property values, Austinites will pay higher property taxes and utility bills under the 2010-11 budget the City Council passed Monday.” Austin American-Statesman.
Council member Randi Shade is the only member of the Wasteful 4 that is up for reelection next May.
Sign the voter pledge for the May 2011 election for a new City Council Member who will take our mantra into the next election:
GROWTH MUST PAY FOR ITSELF!
Bill Bunch testifies to the Austin City Council on August 26, 2010 against water rate hikes and against Water Treatment Plant #4.
Desmond D’Souza testifies to the Austin City Council on August 26, 2010 against water rate hikes and against Water Treatment Plant #4.
Brian Rodgers presents his research into the negative impacts of rate hikes for water treatment in Central Texas.
Mayor Leffingwell and three City Council Members (Shade, Martinez and Cole) want to raise water rates to pay for a water treatment plant that is ten times more expensive than alternatives, including conservation.
The Austin City Council has raised rates EVERY SINGLE YEAR since 2003
AND the City plans FIVE MORE YEARS of water rate increases to pay for a water treatment plant we may never need!
For lots more back up information, click here.
Here you can read comments Austinites have added to the petitions sent to all Council members.
The Council will vote on the city budget no earlier than Monday, September 13th. Be sure to sign up to get our emails — we may ask you to come to City Hall.
Sweet! The Austin Community College Board of Trustees decided on Monday to opt-out of the City of Austin’s shameful historic property tax giveaway program to some of Austin’s wealthiest. (You might watch this video by respected preservationist Rick Harden, who blew the whistle on this a few weeks ago.)
We have a lot more work to do together to level the playing field for ordinary residents.
Come to our State Your Beef & Take Action meeting next Thursday y’all!
ChangeAustin.org General Meeting
Thursday, July 15, 6:30-8:30 pm
Carver Library (1161 Angelina)
* Property taxpayer protest update: bring your questions & your horror stories!
* Update on historic property program
* Update on Water Treatment Plant #4
* Ideas for Budget Sanity for upcoming City budget deliberations
Note: that our volunteer appraisal attorney, Lorri Michel, will start the meeting with followup Q & A session for you beleaguered homeowners seeking a little tax justice!
We recently attended the city’s only budget charade, uh we mean charrette. City staff must have outnumbered the audience 3 to 1. Just 2% of the budget was up for discussion to close the City’s $11 to $28 million shortfall.
ChangeAustin.org came up with an easy $14 million by having developers pay fees to process their development plans, like they do in other cities. But that item wasn’t in the 2% up for dialogue.
Watch this short video.
We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
Make sure you mark your calendar for our upcoming volunteer meeting on Thursday, July 15th, 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Carver Library. (We’ll do a followup on property tax protests there too.)
There’s more to tell you about historic property tax giveaways to some of Austin’s wealthiest, the new coalition working for police accountability and open government, congrats to TAG and, taking the cake this month is the City’s decision to spend $44 million more wasted taxpayer dollars to build th $1.3 billion Water Treatment Plant #4. Never mind the wasted water, right?
Growth must pay for itself y’all, before they run us all outta town!
Check out the rest of our first newsletter and watch our new videos here. Pass it on.