It’s bad enough that $25 million of state taxpayer money could go towards funding a Formula 1 racetrack near Austin. Now, the City of Austin may end up spending an additional $4 million, or risk getting stuck with the new track but no race.
According to ESPN, the Austin City Council is being asked to provide an additional $4 million to help cover some of the costs associated with bringing the F1 race to Central Texas. But that’s only in the first year! The city would then be expected to cover any more costs (up to $4 million) each year through 2021.
So what would happen if the Austin City Council actually had a notion of responsible spending and limited government and said no? (Austinites know they don’t, just look at how much they will spend on a new bike rental program) Well, then the race simply wouldn’t happen.
That’s right. After making a crony deal with the state for $25 million a year, Formula 1 officials are now telling the City of Austin to either pay $4 million of their overhead costs per year or they won’t approve the race.
This type of crony-capitalism should make every fiscal conservative’s blood boil.
The role of government is not to provide a safety net against the high cost of capital required for large investments, nor it is to pick winners and losers in the marketplace by “incentivizing” some businesses and not others.
As I said on Monday in regards to our willingness as a state to subsidize Hollywood, Texas, the City of Austin, or any other government entity for that matter, should compete for businesses with the free market: by lowering taxes and reducing regulation.
It’s time for us to get out of the business of corporate welfare.
Dustin Matocha is the Social Media Coordinator of Empower Texans / Texans for Fiscal Responsibility.
Connect with Dustin on Twitter.