From the East to the West

Solving the involuntary displacement of East Austin’s long-term residents requires a new shared prosperity approach. Modernizing Austin’s housing development policies and increasing local affordable housing subsidies will ensure Central and West Austin do their fair share to meet regional housing demand.

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Posted in Development, Housing | Tagged

Google Car Candidates

What’s cooler than artificial-intelligence-powered cars? A change in Austin politics that can reap their benefits.

google-self-driving-car

“I can drive myself around Austin. But I can’t register to vote.”

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Posted in Transportation | Tagged

Courthouse Steps

Yesterday, I attended AURA’s panel on the proposed Travis County Civil and Family Complex.  This project is commonly referred to as the “new Courthouse”.  What follows is my transcription of the panel’s discussion.

county-complex-1

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Posted in Travis County

“Save Our Mansions” exemption fuels inequality

The percentage-based homestead exemption is an unfair tax shift that will disproportionately benefit the wealthiest homeowners.  More effective affordability alternatives should be pursued instead.

hex-pretty-distributions

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Posted in Fiscal

Mansion Exemption Alternatives

I asked a dozen of the most policy-minded critics of the “mansion exemption” for alternative ways of spending approximately $30 million annually to boost Austin’s affordability. Here are the four main themes that came across in their responses.

hex-scatter-median-income

The 20% homestead exemption’s dollars flow to the district’s with the highest median incomes. 

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Posted in Fiscal | 1 Comment

Undoing HEx’s spell

There are better tools to solve the ‘affordability’ problem than a 20% homestead exemption (HEx). Here’s what progressive, fiscally-responsible Austinites must argue.

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Posted in Fiscal

Why you can’t have bus service

Your community isn’t dense enough to justify using scarce transit operating funds to serve it. Providing service to your community would probably decrease overall ridership.

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Posted in Transit