Friday, August 22, 2008

Stop Domain Subsidies

Leaders of Stop Domain Subsidies have urged the City to drop this $64 million, 20 year tax subsidy for the Domain, ever since it was rushed through Council in 2003. No checks have been written and they're scheduled to start this October -- in the midst of a budget crunch. The libraries may be slated for a cutback to save the city approximately $400,000. Meanwhile, the October Domain subsidy check will be $1.5 million covering only 8 months.

Back in 2003, the Council gave the public a little over 1 week's notice, before they signed a complex tax incentive package that only a developer would understand. A local small developer, Brian Rodgers, read about it in the newspaper (just after the fact), and pulled the contract. His analysis revealed that the original developer, Endeavor, made 7 misrepresentations to the Council. When Rodgers shared his analysis of the deal with those Council members who would listen, he was told "a deal is a deal". So, in 2005, Rodgers went in to court and won an out-of-court settlement that rendered the deal completely voluntary.

Please visit the Stop Domain Subsidies website for additional information about the court case.

I believe that the Council has been on the wrong track for some time now. They've forgotten who signs their paychecks --Austin voters and small businesses, who bear much of the brunt of the tax burden. If you've had enough of these shenanigans, won't you join me in supporting the passage of the SDS Proposition this November?
Here's the trailer of a documentary that will soon be released, with some interviews with owners of some of Austin's signature local businesses who are part of this effort:

I urge everybody in Austin to vote for Prop 2 on the November ballot to stop the tax subsidies to the Domain.

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