Apply tax-savings and incentive plans to all Austinites equally
We should immediately amend the City of Austin Charter to reflect that tax savings and incentive plans and policies must be applied to all Austin taxpayers.
Corporate subsidies such as: the tax abatement for The Domain development (the subject of a November 2008 proposition opposing the abatement, by the way), and more recent incentives to Apple Computer and the Formula 1 compound (which voters had no voice in) are contributing to unaffordable rent and mortages in Austin.
On principle "equal treatment under the law" is violated by municipal politicians and bureaucrats each time they kowtow to their special interest lobbyist friends in the name of "economic development" or "creating jobs." When certain businesses receive reduced taxes at the expense of higher tax bills for Austinites, how is that serving We the People? Especially when it becomes harder for non-subsidized businesses to compete?
Mere lip service is paid to the power of small businesses, which makes up the backbone of our local economy. Tax incentives favoring large corporations come at the expense of these smaller businesses -- many of which have closed or left the Austin city limits.
My campaign invites other candidates to back the below statement we put forth in 2014. Together, and across party lines, we can put an end to this unaffordable -- and possibly illegal -- practice of unequal, preferential tax treatment for the those with political power at the cost of the powerless.
Our Tax Incentives For All Statement:
"The Austin City Council, elected servants, and city government employees should diligently work to amend the City Charter to prohibit the City from providing tax incentives, deferred tax payments, or any other tax reductions which are not equally applied to all Austin businesses and city property owners."