Adler and the Great Tax Dodge

This is just one of the most poorly thought pieces of writing I’ve ever encountered…

There is nothing meaningful about this tax cut. You’re going to raise the rate, and then give homeowners a larger exemption which will be paid for on the backs of renters and the people of Austin in terms of reduced services.

And the most disingenuous part of this is that no one on Council, least of all Adler, will tell the truth about what happens next year with just a moderate 3% increase in value (Surprise! Your tax relief was only for ONE DAMN YEAR! Congratulations! You elected a man who makes Not Brewster Leffingwell look positively dynamic in exchange for an infinitesimal tax cut that will evaporate in a year! Well done!) and the year after. And the year after that. You will never get ahead and that exemption will always be worthless.

But let’s not be too hard on the folks who’ve worked soooooo hard to craft this…

In this case, financing a modest homestead exemption acknowledges the struggle of homeowners across Austin whose incomes have remained relatively flat, while their home values have skyrocketed in the city’s hot housing market. An exemption signals that homeowners are a key part of the community who contribute considerably to Austin’s economy and ventures that make the city better. And it should not be overlooked that a homestead exemption creates an incentive for homeownership that helps families build wealth. Those are values that should not be sliced and diced.

Modest? This isn’t modest, it’s a drop in a swimming pool. It doesn’t absolutely nothing, meaningful or otherwise, to help homeowners. But it’s the part about the city’s hot housing market that really has me steaming… in some cases people have seen the value of their homes increase by 10-20 times their original purchase price. They are, in a word, RICH. The market, which depends on people wanting to move to Austin, has already helped them build wealth. A $50 tax cut isn’t going to help anyone afford more home. Sorry, it’s just not. We are subsidizing rich people by reducing public safety and closing swimming pools for poor kids. Nice work, Adler… you are quite the man of the people.

And, despite the feverish rantings of the disconnected from reality asshat who wrote this, this does NOTHING to address affordability in Austin. Only supply can help that and I don’t see Adler doing much to increase the supply of affordable housing in Austin.

The joke, if you haven’t realize, is on you, Austin.

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