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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.

Justin Jacobson

City Council, District 3

First and foremost we need to take a more aggressive fight to the legislature to do something about school finance. We can’t have a serious talk about the local tax burden without talking about how our state leaders are failing us year after year to get school district taxes down. The city has need after need that is not being met, public safety to transportation to park maintenance, but we can’t omit those folks sentiments that are buckling under the pressure of overheating property values that lead to higher property taxes. Obviously not everyone has equally experienced the growth dividend of Austin’s tremendous boom over the past decade and a half, or less folks would be feeling the pressure to have to leave. We owe it to taxpayers to seek savings as much as possible, yet on the other hand they deserve a strong functioning city. This means the council must be diligent in making sure to allocate resources with great efficacy and communicate effectively the worth of their decisions.