Greed, taxes and a lack of empathy

It’s tax time in Travis county and Austin, that means it’s the annual hand wringing and whining because the property values are up again, by huge amounts. Taxes are all relative. The total of tax paid is still stunningly low compared to the quality of life and services you get for that. Yes, property taxes are high, but sales tax is relatively low, there is no state income tax, and while the Ledge and Republicans have you convinced that Federal Taxes are high, and money being wasted on drug taking, idle, work shy, “minorities”, it doesn’t matter that that is … Continue reading Greed, taxes and a lack of empathy

Wonky property taxes

The new Austin 10/1 council is pretty much settled after the run-offs. The new districts will be represented by 9 new Council members, two of whom are Realtors, a new Mayor with zero Council experience, all voted in by an appallingly low voter turnout especially in the runoff elections. In District-3,  Sabino “Pio” Renteria won with just 2,555 votes, a victory by 833 votes… I assume a mere $10,000 could have bought victory for  his opponent by paying locals $10 to go vote. I bet that TV and newspaper advertising looks lame now. One of the flagship, priority subjects will no doubt … Continue reading Wonky property taxes

Property Tax, Travis county, Austin

There are a number of threads running through the posts on this blog about Austin and Texas. One key aspect of them is how things get paid for, and what gets paid for. Since Texas(bigger than Germany, approx. 7/8 the Population of Germany) has no income tax, as boasts about it’s low corporate taxes, apart from the 6.25% sales tax, property tax is key. Property tax, the valuation and assessment of properties has become both increasingly complex, and for many long term residents, unaffordable. Among those arguing for greater density in Austin, there are calls for better transportation, more affordable … Continue reading Property Tax, Travis county, Austin

Happy 4th to all my US Readers…

Happy 4th of July. This was my token yearly protest at 6:30am this morning, throwing a tea bag into Lake Austin from the Congress (bat) bridge. No taxation without representation! The reality is I pay little tax in Texas, not counting what the State takes from the federal government. However, I for one would be willing to pay state income tax if it helped fix the deep inequalities in the property tax, which have arisen from people like me moving to Austin, and driving huge increases in property taxes. The state of Travis county property taxes is in itself deeply … Continue reading Happy 4th to all my US Readers…