At tonight’s meeting, Keller City Council will, according to their website, consider whether or not to pay up to $280,000 to help private businesses set up “Google My Business” accounts. The money would go towards “providing digital photography, videography and marketing services.”

What isn’t said here is just how gigantic a waste of taxpayer dollars this is. “I myself have a ‘Google My Business’ account,” former Keller City Councilman Armin Mizani wrote on his Facebook page. “It is totally FREE to set up – so long as you as a business owner take the time to complete the 2-minute online profile.”

Current Councilman Sean Hicks agrees. “I believe this to be a huge waste of tax payer funds,” Hicks said on Facebook. Claiming a Google account is free, he added, and Google offers many tools to help businesses create their accounts.

The city’s portion of Keller residents’ property taxes has gone up on average 28 percent since 2008. That’s around $1,432 this year compared to about $1,114 in 2008. Taxpayers should be asking why city council keeps raising their property taxes, then wastes their tax dollars helping private businesses set up something that is absolutely free. Tax money is intended to be spent on core city services, not squandered on wasteful handouts to companies.

Mizani argues that providing real support to business would be “making sure we have a tax structure and the infrastructure in place to support them.”

Hicks and Mizani both encouraged Keller residents to make their voices heard by contacting the mayor and city council members at mayorandcouncil@cityofkeller.com. Individual council members’ contact information can be found at www.cityofkeller.com/services/city-council.

City council is scheduled to vote on the corporate welfare resolution Tuesday, December 18, at 7:00 p.m. at Keller Town Hall.

Robert Montoya

A former filmmaker, University of North Texas graduate, and one-time assistant language teacher, Robert Montoya misses Japan and the 1980s. He is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard.

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