Austin homeowners and business owners are potentially looking at a double hit
on their 2014 property tax bills that would not be necessary if the city weren’t
giving away millions of dollars a year in waivers, service and incentives
to profit-making ventures.
Information we received under the Texas Open Records Act shows the following public safety costs for regular and overtime expenses charged to the city’s 2012-13 budget:
•South by Southwest expenses for police totaled $947,053 for regular and overtime expenses; fire costs associated with the 10-day event totaled $32,284; and for EMS, $33,589. SXSW was not billed for any of those costs and, therefore, did not reimburse for them.
•Circuit of the Americas (Formula One) costs for police totaled $693,612. The circuit reimbursed the city $40,473. Expenses for fire services totaled $75,521 for regular and overtime. The circuit reimbursed the city $6,888. EMS expenses for the three-day event totaled $101,069. The circuit reimbursed the city $51,840.
•Texas Relays costs for police totaled $195,177, but there was no information available for fire and EMS. Texas Relays was not billed and did not reimburse for police expenses.
•The Republic of Texas Biker Rally costs for police totaled $23,213, for which the city billed $17,417. Fire services for the two-day event were $2,420. The Fire Department did not bill rally organizers, so they did not reimburse the city. EMS services were $9,744, for which the rally reimbursed the city $4,590.
Some of the aforementioned expenses charged for police, fire and EMS would be incurred as part of regular business. But costs for overtime are directly related to those events."
Full Article Behind the Statesman Paywall: www.mystatesman.com/news/news/opinion/to-lower-taxes-stop-the-city-freebies/nZpgh/