On a recent evening, more than 300 homeowners who are worried about their rising property tax bills filled First Unitarian Universalist Church in North Austin for a town hall meeting. If something doesn’t change, many said, they will soon be priced out of their homes.
Two nights later, a similar discussion played out in South Austin, where homeowners gathered at Grace United Methodist Church in Travis Heights to talk about what can be done to slow escalating residential tax values.
“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.
For those of you who don’t know, Austin is a liberal bastion in Texas as Wikipedia puts it
Austin is known as an enclave of liberal politics in a generally conservative state—so much so, that the city is sometimes sarcastically called the “People’s Republic of Austin” by residents of other parts of Texas, and conservatives in the Texas Legislature
And it’s this fact that make the story so ironic. Nationally they’ve voted GOP three times since 1960 (the landslides of 72 & 84 and George Bush by 49.7% in 2000) and on the local level haven’t elected a republican mayor for 20 years.
Thus unlike the actual People’s republic in China these folks elected their local leaders who have voted for all the spending that has required all those higher taxes. Bill Quick put it best.
Suicidally stupid bint thought she was voting to spend other peoples’ money. Which didn’t bother her at all. Until she discovered, to her horror, that good intentions were not enough, and that, mirabile dictu, she was the other people.
Invariablly people in a republic get the government they deserve, let’s hope she doesn’t move to a less expensive city and vote the next generation out of affording their homes too.