October 23, 2008

Vote NO on Prop 2

If you live in Austin, you probably know that some of the peeps on Council voted to give tax incentives to a mall filled with high end retail because the developer whined that they just couldn't do it any other way. Flash forward a couple of years and there I am, able to finally go to Neiman's without a trip to Dallas.

Wait... that wasn't my point. OK, it was about the tax incentives. Yeah, I think those were a super bad idea in the case of the Domain . However, PROP 2, which seeks to override those incentives, is the wrong way to go. For one thing, the Council has already changed the guidelines for incentives. For another, this ties the hands of the City so dramatically that the best analogy is throwing the baby out with the bath water.

I'm not a big fan of development incentives mostly because it skews the economics of a project and can lead, rapidly, to overbuilding beyond what the market will support. However, for large employers coming into Austin as part of a large development project, they are a necessity. Was it in appropriate to use them at the Domain? Yes. Does that mean we have to go overboard and tie the hands of our elected officials? No. We do that at the ballot box when we decide on whether to keep or replace them.

We urge you to vote NO on Prop 2.

Posted by mcblogger at October 23, 2008 11:55 AM

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Ignoring the myopia of the statement that development incentives are a "necessity," it's pretty clear that you don't understand what this proposition does. At. All.

For one thing, the Council has passed a non-binding resolution that they can easily override at their (campaign contributors') whim.

For another, the only thing that Prop 2 affects are retail subsidies. That's it. Not good jobs. Not necessary jobs. Not jobs that lead to careers. Not city works initiatives. Not even small business loans or TIFs. Retail.

You know, the sector that is always going to pay low wages and always be competitive no matter what? Retail.

Hands being tied? If they are comfortable with retail subsidies then they ought to be. Our elected officials are reckless and irresponsible and unaccountable and scared to death of small d democracy.

Sorry, but Council doesn't always know best. If it did, and if Will Wynn and his ilk (on the political spectrum and amongst the developer class) could be trusted, we wouldn't be having this discussion and I wouldn't be writing such a fantastic take-down of your position. ;)

Posted by: Colin K [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 24, 2008 07:27 PM

Override and risk political suicide? Sure. That's possible. The earth could also change rotational direction and the sun could rise in the west. But I don't think that'll happen either.

As for the rest, read your own prop, hermano, before you decide to 'take-down' anyone. My interpretation is right.

What part of one or more retail uses don't you get, Colin? What part of kill mixed use is unclear?

Posted by: mcblogger [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 28, 2008 03:13 PM

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