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What is your collaborative vision when working with other governmental entities (Travis County, State of Texas, Central Health, etc.)?

Todd Phelps


In many instances, Austin has not been a good collaborative partner with other governmental entities. For instance, the City set up an incentive structure with the PSV stadium deal that exempted property taxes for all of the other taxing entities. The Mayor never even discussed this with them. The County Commissioners’ actually had to have an agenda item after the fact to direct their attorneys to explore what actions the county could take against this exemption. As an example, this type of issue is important because the County provides Criminal, Civil and Juvenile Justice services including prosecution and indigent defense countywide. So, a stadium with 20,000 people will inevitably create caseload for the county, yet the County will be exempt from the property taxes that would pay for those services. The City’s dealing with the State for easements necessary for the construction of State buildings was very difficult. The City needs to be a team player with these other governments. I would work very hard to work with them and consider the taxpayers’ collective needs.