FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
City Hall leaders are lying to Austin voters and the media about financing Project Connect. The truth is Prop A’s tax revenue is grossly insufficient to build Project Connect on the schedule claimed. Prop A’s tax increase would generate about $160 million annually. At that rate, it would take the city 45 years to collect enough tax revenue to pay for Project Connect’s $7.1 billion “initial investment” and 60 years to pay for the full $10 billion system.
It’s just simple arithmetic. When you apply the proposed tax rate to the amount of taxable property in the City of Austin, the Prop A tax increase is not large enough to pay for the cost of Project Connect.
“This is the most cynical lie ever perpetrated on Austin voters,” said Peck Young, executive director for Voices of Austin. “The mayor had to know this isn’t enough money to pay for Project Connect. So he sold a lie to Austin voters, and raised the hopes of some while also instilling fear into many residents who believe they will no longer be able to afford to live in Austin if Prop A passes.”
What’s really going on? Young believes this Prop A vote is the city’s way of sidestepping asking the voters to pass a bond while also selling voters on giving him a permanent property tax increase.
“Prop A’s taxes aren’t for construction. Prop A’s taxes are for debt payments. The only way City Hall can pay for Project Connect from Prop A’s tax dollars is to issue Certificates of Obligation, which is a bond by any other name. But this is a bond voters can’t vote on,” Young said. “Who will issue those bonds? Who will indebt Austinites for decades? The Austin Transit Partnership – an unelected, unsupervised board, which would run Project Connect. City Hall will pack The Austin Transit Partnership with the same property developers and engineering firms who paid half a million dollars to try to con the voters to pass Prop A.”
City Hall doesn’t trust the voters to know the real plan to finance Project Connect with debt. Instead, City Hall lies. And the numbers prove it.
Vote! Make sure you go down the ballot to vote on Prop A.
Voices of Austin (VofA) is a grass roots citizens organization formed to speak out for the vast majority of Austin citizens and organizations. VofA is a registered 501c4 nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. It is not a political action committee and will not endorse or oppose candidates or propositions in an election or make financial contributions to candidates or campaigns.
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