The City of Round Rock is continuing to play favorites, and using taxpayer money to do it.

On Thursday, Round Rock City Council approved an agreement with Crow Group LLC to develop a five-acre plot near downtown into a large Class A office complex. In the contract, the city agreed to provide Crow Group a $2.2 million loan as a part of developing the “City Centre” project. If Crow Group upholds their end of the bargain, they get a special bonus—the city will completely forgive the loan.

This latest deal joins a long list of businesses who have received exclusive perks from the City of Round Rock: IKEA, Emerson, Dell, and Kalahari Resorts are among the numerous companies getting millions in special treatment from the city.

And all of it is paid for by you, the taxpayer.

By giving away taxpayer money to hand-picked companies, Round Rock has created an unjust business environment. What about Round Rock Donuts, Little Red Wagon Hamburgers, or the countless other small businesses in the city—why do they not receive the special perks of reduced taxes, fast-track permit approval, and even straight cash bonuses? Even worse, not only do most businesses not receive anything, but they’re the very ones forced to pay for the other guy’s benefits.

This practice is corrupt and needs to end. If Round Rock truly wanted to benefit everyone, they could lower taxes and cut needless regulations for all businesses. Doing so would spur growth and prosperity across the entire city, not just for the city council’s inner circle of special companies.

You as a taxpayer can hold them accountable, by contacting your city council member and by voting.

Otherwise, the city can continue freely raising your taxes and using your money to pay their favorite businesses.

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.