If you live in Round Rock, your city council is about to take even more of your cash—and how they’re spending it is even worse.

The Round Rock City Council recently announced their proposed budget for 2020, where they plan to take over $100 more per year from the average homeowner. Council’s new tax raise is piled on top of the roughly hundreds more they’re already charging citizens—if the new budget is approved, then compared to just five years ago, council will now be taking roughly $400 more per year from the average homeowner.

Why is the council taking so much extra cash? Mayor Craig Morgan says it’s for city essentials.

“Most of this [increase] is funding police, fire, roads,” Morgan said. “This is going back to protecting and benefitting our citizens. I can’t stress that enough. These services are all for [the taxpayers].”

However, one look at Morgan’s and the council’s actual spending tells a different story.

In the past several years, council has spent tens of millions on “corporate welfare” deals, an exclusive deal where council hand-picks a business they like and gives them special favors, perks, and most importantly, your cash.

Think of it like this: Imagine city council knocking on your door, demanding you pay full taxes, then walking across the street and handing your cash to a next-door neighbor. Oh, and that neighbor doesn’t have to pay any taxes, either.

Council has made these special deals with a select group of businesses, including Dell, IKEA, and Kalahari Resorts—giving away your cash and other perks, such as tax exemptions.

Here’s the worst part: The tens of millions council has spent on those deals could have cancelled out all the extra cash they’re now taking from you. You could have had hundreds extra per year in your wallet if your city council had responsibly handled your money.

Oh, and as a side note: Council also spent $5 million last year renovating a golf course that only a fraction of the population uses. Just that money alone could have cancelled that year’s tax increase.

But, as far as this year goes, there’s still time to act. Council is hosting public hearings on the budget Thursday, August 22, and Thursday, September 12. If you value the extra cash in your wallet, contact the council and let them know.

Council is expected to approve the final budget on September 26.

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.