Austin, Texas Mayoral Candidate Brad Meltzer Comes Out Against Property Tax Increase Proposal

WASHINGTON – Americans for Tax Reform commends Austin mayoral candidate Brad Meltzer for his "no tax increase" position. In an effort to distinguish himself as a pro-taxpayer candidate, Meltzer declared his opposition to a proposed property tax increase last week.

In an effort to increase new spending, the Austin Community College Board of Trustees approved a measure to appear on the May 3rd ballot, asking voters to approve a property tax increase. The increased revenue from the levy will go for increasing the Austin Community College (ACC) spending practices. For instance, ACC pays $23,000 per year to rent an old campus from the Austin Independent School District but wants to buy it for $4.2 million, if voters approve the ballot measure. For that money [$4.2 million] the school can continue renting the property for 182 years.

"Once again, taxpayers are the target for more irresponsible spending," commented president of Americans for Taxpayer and national taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist. "Austin residents face the highest cost of living in the state, a slow economy and significant job losses. The last they need is an increase in their already exorbitant property taxes."

"I commend Mr. Meltzer for his no tax increase stance – at least someone is working on behalf of the taxpayer," continued Norquist.

According to the American Chamber of Commerce Research Association (ACCRA) second quarter of 2002 study, Austin is shown to have the highest cost of living based on housing and utility costs in the state of Texas and is second highest for the cost of groceries. The city of Austin continues to lose ground in its attraction to business and residents: it fell from being number two in Forbes\’ "best places to live" in Texas to number 19 in 2002.

"Texas is considered one of the most tax-friendly states to live, but it appears as though the city is moving in the opposition direction from the rest of the state," remarked Norquist. "The city of Austin should follow the trend of the state government by reducing its wasteful spending and not gouging the taxpayers. The city needs a leader that will not reward fiscal irresponsibility."