“I’m at the breaking point,” said Gretchen Gardner, an Austin artist who bought a 1930s bungalow in the Bouldin neighborhood just south of downtown in 1991 and has watched her property tax bill soar to $8,500 this year.Does anyone else here notice the disconnect between having all those nice things and finding a way to pay for it? It appears Ms. Gardner thinks anyone else but her should pay for it all, something that far too many liberals also think should be the case. As long as someone else is paying for it they're all for it.
“It’s not because I don’t like paying taxes,” said Gardner, who attended both meetings. “I have voted for every park, every library, all the school improvements, for light rail, for anything that will make this city better. But now I can’t afford to live here anymore. I’ll protest my appraisal notice, but that’s not enough. Someone needs to step in and address the big picture.”
The suggestion has been made in some quarters to impose a state income tax, but all that does is mean that those with high property taxes will be paying an income tax...and high property taxes. (There is an issue with commercial property owners receiving huge tax breaks, paying taxes on property assessed at far below the market values, but that's something that needs to be addressed by the city of Austin and the state legislature.)
An income tax also means that those not living in cities like Austin will be paying for the amenities in Austin, something else that is just not fair. If Austinites aren't willing to pay for what they have, then maybe they need to consider voting for cutbacks in city spending rather than expecting someone else to foot the bill for all the niceties in their neighborhoods.
Here in New Hampshire most of the residents understand the connection between spending and their property tax rates: the more they spend the higher their taxes. It's a no-brainer, something most of the liberals in this state understand. Too bad the liberals down in Austin don't.