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In a recent poll, residents of Austin cited rising property taxes as a major issue they face, iconic business are having to close their doors and longtime residents are moving out citing rising property taxes. Some have also cited homelessness as an impediment to business. How would you slow or stop the increase in City property taxes, encourage other taxing entities to do the same, and balance the requests for more funding coming from the City Departments and the public? One example of the request of more funding is to expand social service contracts to meet needs, including to provide more supportive housing programs. How do you balance less taxes and increased demand for social services? Please explain.

Natasha Harper-Madison

City Council, District 1

I’ll refer to my previous response regarding the need for a dramatic increase in public/private sector partnerships here. Austin has an issue with duplicative services being offered in a multitude of capacities but most especially with our provision of social services, social equity and social justice. We have got to get serious about streamlining service provision, increasing access to advocacy for individuals and businesses and maximizing our ability to generate passive revenue by utilizing space and other assets considerately and prudently.