|Sent on:||Sunday, September 16, 2012 1:29 PM|
Austin Coming Tax Increases
1. Urban rail (off the ballot this year, but coming next year): $1.3B total, with the first phase of $275M on the ballot this fall, committing us to the full amount.
"Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Austin's chief rail advocate, pulled his support Friday for a November bond election, saying the city should not ask voters to approve $275 million in debt for the first segment while so many questions linger. He effectively killed any chance that urban rail will appear on the ballot this year."Then there's the cost of operating the system which is NOT included in the bond package.
"But the mayor said too many questions about the system remain: how to pay for operating costs estimated at $16 million annually."
"$1.3 billion proposed system that has long been public".
The real bond amount is not $275M, but $1.3B which is the full cost of urban rail. Once we sign up for the $275M we'd have to agree to future bonds and tax increases or the money spent so far would be wasted. The $275M is a hook to get us locked in.
2. Medical school, fall 2012
3. AISD tax increase, fall 2012
4. General bond, $385M, fall 2012: Including $78M housing affordability ???
See Proposition 15.
"construct new or rehabilitate existing housing that can be purchased at prices affordable to low- and moderate-income persons, and support development of community land trusts".
I'd like a taxpayer funded house, too.
5. Electric rate increase
Austin Could Lower Prop Tax Rates As Soon As Next Year
Property taxes could actually go down soon if the city would stop spending like drunken sailors.
"Leffingwell said he is also concerned that urban rail would be too expensive in light of other hefty spending proposals that could be on the ballot. He would support a separate city bond package with a wide range of projects but wants to limit it to $400 million, which he said is the threshold at which a property tax increase would be required. The city is considering a bond package of as much as $575 million. "
"Because previous bond debt is close to being paid off, voters can approve up to $400 million in bond projects in November without raising the current property tax rate. (If they do not approve the package, they could see a reduction in the tax rate)".
So, if they raised expenditures this fall less than $400M, prop taxes would go down.