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Election Ticker: Masters of Disasters | T-minus 46 days until you vote

In a recent interview with the Austin Chronicle, Todd Phelps discusses the “Adler Disaster”, which he describes as four years of high government spending on pet projects rather than a practical approach of focusing on the real needs of Austin.

The Adler Disaster

Two examples Todd discussed with the Chronicle, are Adler’s broken promise of a 20% homestead tax exemption for our homeowners while giving the enormous incentive package including a 100 percent tax exemption to Precourt Sports Ventures for a single sport stadium in North Austin.

Todd speaks candidly that in 2014 he believed Adler would honor his promise of the maximum homestead tax exemption. The 20% homestead tax exemption would provide some tax relief to residential property owners. Instead, Alder delivered a modest 10% residential tax exemption with little remorse of his failed promise.

The question is why no Adler action. Why the broken promise? The tax burden on seniors and working families is real. The rising property taxes are driving the gentrification of our neighborhoods and the exodus of families with school aged children to more affordable bedroom communities.  This is more bad news for Austin and AISD as neighborhood school enrollments are dropping. So, what is Adler waiting for?

The Adler Stadium Disaster

Another hot topic for Todd is the massive giveaways to the out-of-town sports and entertainment mogul Anthony Precourt for a stadium near the Domain. This slick subsidy deal for a for-profit company is another example of Adler’s lack of empathy for the working families of Austin.  Instead of agreeing with two City reports touting the McKalla tract as the best site for a transit oriented mixed used development with housing options at various levels of affordability, Adler facilitates a land deal for a Californian billionaire to build a stadium.

Don’t be fooled to believe the Adler line that the stadium is for the “greatest public benefit”, when there are three alternative proposals that would have generated significantly more tax revenue and jobs than his friend’s stadium.  Plus all three of the alternative proposals would have included a fully funded metro rail station and parking structure.  If Adler really wanted the “greatest public benefit”, he would have sold the land, since the City’s property taxes collected on the land would have been earmarked for the affordable housing fund in perpetuity.  Adler, Tovo, Renteria, Casar, Garza, Flannigan and Kitchen let us down with their votes for a stadium, rather than seeking a request for proposal process where one of the three of the alternative proposal could bring out jobs, housing and tax revenue for Austin forever. (Voters take note of those who voted “YES” on the stadium, and hold them accountable when you get to the polls.)

‘The Adler Stadium Disaster’ defies all business and economic logic.  Like Allison Alter, City Council Member for district 10 said, Austin may be cool, but it can’t defy the laws of economics.  This stadium deal is more bad news to Austin tax payers who will see their property taxes increase, while the stadium gets a full tax exemption.

quoted directly from the Austin Chronicle story . . .

Mayor Steve Adler‘s challengers, Laura Morrison and others, have been attacking the planned Major League Soccer stadium at McKalla Place as a “giveaway” to the incoming soccer team and its ownership. Asked about the charges, Adler spokesman Jim Wick responded, “Our city needs to use its land for the greatest public benefit. The mayor doesn’t believe the city should be in the business of selling its land to private developers for maximum profit. There is no city-granted property tax exemption. This is a great deal, one of the best (if not the best) in the country. They build the stadium, give it to us, then pay us to rent it.”…

One of the late filers in the mayoral race, Todd Phelps, told the Chron­icle this week that he was “recruited” by local business people (unnamed) to run against what he calls the “Adler Disaster.” Phelps, who garnered 10% of the vote in 2014 (and later got 6% in the 2016 GOP primary against U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith), said Adler has failed on “affordability and mobility.” He criticized him for not yet enacting a full 20% homestead exemption, and spending too much transportation funding on “walkables” instead of highways. He also said we should provide property tax exemptions to the landlords of “iconic businesses” like Threadgill’s World Headquarters. Phelps said he intends to get in a run-off, and beat whoever else survives…





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