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Rising property taxes are a growing concern. There are a number of people who believe taxes are high because the city provides not only essential city services (police, fire, etc.) but non-essential services (social service contracts, education funding, etc.) If elected, how would you prioritize what is or is not an essential city service?

Rich DePalma

City Council, District 8

I have spent my entire career working with municipalities in improving the solutions and services to accomplish their organizational mission. I have also performed program assessments for cities such New York City and the City of Boston. I believe I am the best candidate who on day one can start reviewing the different programs that are currently being funded by the City of Austin to assess what is or is not an essential service. To answer the question, funding related to public safety and preventive programs (that eliminate future high spending) are my current priorities.

Ultimately, one of the main reasons for our high taxes is the broken public school funding formula. This needs to be prioritized by the Texas Legislature in the 2019 legislative session. Austin Independent School District is the largest contributor to recapture and the taxes are impacting everyone including the City of Austin. AISD taxpayers pay more to recapture than their ENTIRE property taxes to the City of Austin. When taxes are too high, the taxpayer just wants them cut and the City of Austin is often the one under the microscope. I’m the only candidate in the race who has testified at the state legislature on the impact the funding formula is having on affordability and on our facilities. This work is only beginning.