Austin’s socialist city councilman says he is opposed to giving Austinites a vote on tax increases.

Councilman Greg Casar, a proud member of the Democratic Socialists of America, recently discussed current state and local issues in an interview with the Austin Monitor. One issue Casar referenced was property tax accountability, a proposal put forth by Gov. Greg Abbott which would require Texas’ local governments like the City of Austin to obtain citizen approval if they wanted to raise taxes by more than 2.5 percent.

Casar did not like that idea, calling Abbott and other state leaders “hostile” to his policy goals.

“Obviously, revenue caps will be devastating to working people, and we’ll fight them on [that] front,” he said.

Casar calls the accountability idea a “revenue cap,” but it’s nothing of the sort. Even if Abbott’s plan became law, Austin could still take handfuls of citizens’ cash each year if they wanted—they’d just have to ask first.

Current Texas law allows local governments like Austin City Council to take up to eight percent more of Austinites’ money each year without citizens’ even having the right to ask for a say—a law the council has taken advantage of. City council is now taking 80 percent more of the average homeowner’s money than they did just 10 years ago.

But with Austinites and citizens across the state struggling to keep up with soaring tax bills, Abbott’s proposal would give the people more control over what happens with their hard-earned money.

And that’s the very thing Casar said he’ll fight against.

Even worse, Casar’s comment that giving citizens a say over their own money would be “devastating to the working class” is starkly opposed to reality. Working-class families are the ones who most need control over what happens with their money, because they are the ones who’ve experienced the harshest consequences of being forced to fork over more and more of it to their local governments.

Indeed, the only thing that’s been “devastating to the working class” is when local governments like the Austin City Council have emptied those families’ wallets, leaving them with too little to cover expenses and forcing many of them out of their homes.

Ironically, Casar posted his 2019 city council goals on Facebook, one of which was “giving everyday people more of a voice.”

Except, apparently, when it comes to their own hard-earned money.

Why would the councilman oppose giving Austinites, especially the working class, more control over their own money?

Unfortunately, Casar isn’t the only one: the rest of the Austin City Council has also voted to continuously take more money from the working class, and city hall has listed Abbott’s accountability proposal as their No. 1 issue to oppose.

Regardless of the success of Abbott’s proposal, Austinites can use the voice they currently have to contact their council members and hold them accountable.

Otherwise, Casar will continue to fight for more control of working class families’ money.

Council members’ contact information is listed below:

Mayor: Steve Adler
Phone: 512-978-2100

District 1 Council Member: Natasha Harper-Madison
Contact info pending:

District 2 Council Member: Delia Garza
Phone: 512-978-2102

District 3 Council Member: Sabino “Pio” Renteria
Phone: 512-978-2103

District 4 Council Member: Greg Casar
Phone: 512-978-2104

District 5 Council Member: Ann Kitchen
Phone: 512-978-2105

District 6 Council Member: Jimmy Flannigan
Phone: 512-978-2106

District 7 Council Member: Leslie Pool
Phone: 512-978-2107

District 8 Council Member: Paige Ellis
Phone: 512-978-2108

District 9 Council Member: Kathie Tovo
Phone: 512-978-2109

District 10 Council Member: Alison Alter
Phone: 512-978-2110

Jacob Asmussen

Jacob Asmussen is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard. He attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and in 2017 earned a double major in public relations and piano performance.


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