Category Archives: Fiscal

City Budget Realities

A new City budget is being debated. Here are five key points that help clarify the meaningful choices policymakers face.

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Austin Budget: Special Interests or Public Interest?

Over at the Austin Post, Marius argues that the growth in utility and police spending, along with animal vaccinations spending, is emblematic of a political culture where “Austin’s citizens right now are only heard as vocal minorities or quiet economic … Continue reading

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Matching, Crowdsourcing, and Contests

Revenue is down but the public’s needs are the same.  So the City of Austin is looking into starting a matching program for public improvements like sidewalks.  This is a good idea modeled after a program in Seattle, but the … Continue reading

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More on Public Power

Marius provides a quality response to my defense of public power in Austin.  I respond in the comments.  Here is the substance of my response: 1. Transfers. Sure, we can include the transfers to the state, though in Marius’ original … Continue reading

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Austin Should Keep a Public Energy Utility

Over at the Austin Post there are two great pieces on the budget by contributor Marius.  In one of them, Marius provides interesting evidence that  our police expenditure is not optimal for response times relative to peer cities.  In another, … Continue reading

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Target Government (think Value!)

The Statesmen editorial board thinks the City Council should ease the burden on Austin taxpayers.  I am all for limited government, but the Statesmen’s editorial was a tad disjointed. First, it fails to put the proposed tax increases in context.  … Continue reading

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Budget Deficit in Context

This Statesman story covering the swearing in of our new Mayor points out that the projected deficit for the City of Austin ranges from $30 to $43 million.  This sounds like a lot of money relative to the average person’s income.  Unfortunately, the story … Continue reading

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