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August 24, 2012

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Travis Co. Healthcare Tax Prop.1

The Healthcare Tax is supposed to be $.05 per $100 of property tax liability... To help pay for the new UT Medical School... I wonder, do Dallas, Houston, Galveston, and SA property owners also have to pay for 10% of their UT medical schools? Our tax liability is already one of the highest in the state, and these propositions seem to add more and more to it each year...

Kevin Kanz more than 2 years ago

Central Health tax increase

Austin voters need a way to ask questions about this proposed tax increase. Specifically, the article says that the money will go for a Medicaid waiver match, and mentions to amount that would be raised "over the life of the waiver." So, the waiver will expire and the federal funds end at some point - will the tax increase also disappear? Doubt it. Then the Central Health officials are quoted as saying "This is not a vote for a teaching hospital. This is not a vote for a medical school." And they say that waiver money cannot go for construction of those things. And the list of "draft projects in the waiver" has many good things in it, but no mention of either a medical school or teaching hospital, and the waiver is supposed to create a "healthcare transformation and quality improvement," not a medical school. Yet every single mention of the tax increase now says it is for a medical school, not the services that are actually needed.
So, where can voters go to get the facts about what appears to be a hard push for property owners to pay for something we do not need, and is being described as a great economic development opportunity? I am willing to help pay for needed services, but not a medical school so developers can make a bunch of money.

M. Clarke more than 2 years ago

This is an absurd proposal!

In addition the proposed increase to property owners would effectively force MANY middle income home owners right out of their homes. Who can sustain a 63% increase in one fell swoop! Not me, and not many many others. This is absurd!!!!!! I plan on campiagning in every way I can to oppose this.

Here, here! more than 2 years ago

Health Care District Tax Increase Not Fair

Whats really at stake here is that Austin needs a new city hospital. Its fine that Kirk Watson wants a Medical School and it probably would benefit the community. But the argument that we need to increase property taxes to help pay for it is absurd in times of fiscal restraint. The monies raised would pay for not the building but to offset the costs of the medical students, professors and residents. The big question is- Why should tax payers be on the hook to pay for their education. I paid for my own medical education with loans and money i saved, not tax payer subsidies. I can't think of any city that raises taxes to pay for medical students education. Most students get grants, or loans. Since when is it property tax payer's burden to help pay for medical professionals when they will become large income earners at some point in their career as compared to the general population? The HCD formed this proposal without public discussion but with lawyers in closed session. Does this tell you anything? Sure Im for better access and support the poor. But this will not stop people from going to the ER for their care, which a large portion do. Most dont want to wait in a clinic to be seen. And by law no one can be turned down at the ER. I have worked in health care for 20 years in Austin. I have seen a lot. And all the major players including St. Davids and Seton take their share of poor folks who dont have health care insurance. But with Obamcare thats supposed to improve? Right? In 2014? Med School Good for Austin- But not at the public's expense. Let the funding come from Seton, UT, the State, or private means. HCD has no business in the medical school business. Its wrong for tax payers and unfair. If Seton and Kirk Watson need more primary care physicians let them hire them for that specific purpose. This would be much cheaper than building a half billion dollar medical school. The medical school would provide cheap labor (physicians in training- just like i did when i did my training as a student nurse anesthetist and earned ZERO dollars) and at the public's expense. I PAID MY OWN MEDICAL EDUCATION and so should medical students, medical residents, etc.

Paul Violand, CRNA, MS more than 2 years ago

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