Category Archives: Fiscal

Hailing Van Eenoo

My letter to the City’s Deputy Chief Financial Officer requesting changes to budget presentations. An example: this much-reported chart from the City budget office doesn’t include sales tax impacts.

Posted in Fiscal

City Budget Day 2015

The most important policy themes going into the adoption of the new City budget. The City’s general fund spending has increased faster than resident income.

Posted in Fiscal

Police Ratio

The proposed 2015-2016 City of Austin budget increases the number of sworn police officers per capita.

Posted in Fiscal, Public Safety

Better Budget

A budget proposal that lowers new taxes while enhancing affordability and equity.

Posted in Fiscal

Patrolling Police Spending

The study justifying substantial increases in Austin’s police staffing doesn’t present any evidence that its recommendations are the most effective way to reduce crime. Public safety has grown dramatically as a share of total City government spending. The shift happened between … Continue reading

Posted in Fiscal, Public Safety

“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.

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. The 20% … Continue reading

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