Phillips fails to show why taxes must rise

Austin American-Statesman Sunday - - VIEWPOINTS -

Re: Aug. 16 com­men­tary, “Phillips: Is Pa­trick lieu­tenant gov­er­nor or viceroy? Let vot­ers de­cide.”

View­points writer Al­berta Phillips presents an il­log­i­cal ar­gu­ment re­gard­ing tax rates. There is no in­her­ent rea­son why a city should have to in­crease its tax rate be­cause of growth. The in­crease in the tax base should itself take care of the needed in­crease in rev­enue to sup­port it.

That’s how things work in the pri­vate sec­tor. It doesn’t take twice as many ad­min­is­tra­tors to man­age a city when it dou­bles in size. The real rea­son the city of Austin wants to in­crease tax rates and an­nex wealthy sub­urbs is be­cause its man­age­ment can­not say “no” to friv­o­lous projects. The change in the an­nex­a­tion law might fi­nally im­pose some much-needed dis­ci­pline on the City Coun­cil. KENT DOU­GLASS, AUSTIN

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