On Nov. 4, taxpayers will have several high-dollar decisions to make. The big three in Austin: a constitutional amendment to redirect $1.2 billion to transportation, a bond for Austin Community College for $386 million which is divided into two propositions, and the Urban Transportation/Rail bond for $1 billion. The question is, how will it affect taxpayers. Thursday, Austin City Council voted to place a $1 billion rail and roads package on the ballot. $400 million would go to roads and $600 million would go to Urban Rail. The 9.5 mile rail line would run from East Riverside through downtown and the University of Texas campus up to Austin Community College's Highland Mall. If approved, it could cost the average taxpayer an extra $15 per month.
Also on the ballot, another bond issue affecting ACC. Trustees divided the bond into two propositions totaling $386 million. If approved, $224.8 million would go towards future growth of the Highland campus along with a new campus in Leander and property for a workforce center in Southeast Travis County. The other $161.17 million would go towards numerous renovations including the Rio Grande Campus, if passed by voters. It would mean about a two-cent increase in the property tax rate to be phased in over time.
Finally, voters will decide whether to redirect $1.2 billion a year in oil and gas taxes from the Rainy Day Fund and put it towards Transportation funding. This money which is paid by drilling companies would be used for road repairs and maintenance.
For more information on Urban Rail, visit Project Connect's website projectconnect.com.
For more information on ACC's Bond and Property Tax Cap Election, visit austincc.edu/bond.
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