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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.

Danielle Skidmore

City Council, District 9

We have to live within our means and make decisions on what we can do and cannot do. We need more Council Members who can own that good governance demands that we be honest with our constituents about this truth. We have to decide what our core priorities are, stick to them, focus on our outcomes and not be afraid to say no. We, as a city, also need to coordinate with other entities to ensure that our priorities are complementary and are wise investments of taxpayer resources. For example, as an civil engineer, I can’t help but think about synergies and opportunities for savings that exist between the City, Travis County, and AISD relating to land use and infrastructure. Finally, we all must demand real school finance reform at the Texas Capitol. With over $500,000,000 sent outside of AISD this year alone as part of Chapter 41 Recapture, our local tax burden will always be excessive and incomprehensible to most people until this is addressed.