From The Austin American Statesman Surge in property tax bills spurs push to reform tax appraisal process
“I’m at the breaking point,” said Gretchen Gardner, an Austin artist who bought a 1930s bungalow in the Bouldin neighborhood just south of downtown in 1991 and has watched her property tax bill soar to $8,500 this year.
“It’s not because I don’t like paying taxes,” said Gardner, who attended both meetings. “I have voted for every park, every library, all the school improvements, for light rail, for anything that will make this city better. But now I can’t afford to live here anymore. I’ll protest my appraisal notice, but that’s not enough. Someone needs to step in and address the big picture.”
What a typical disconnect. A citizen votes for every tax increase and is stunned when she has to cough up more of her own dough to pay for it. Maybe she regrets that there are not enough wealthy people in Austin to fund her vision of what government should provide.
Further from the “reality is not optional” file, Who’d a-thunk it? Following $15 minimum wage in SeaTac, local businesses are adding a 8.25% ‘living wage surcharge’ from Carpe Diem:
from the Washington Policy Center:
Last week I blogged about SeaTac employers who have responded to the new $15 minimum wage law by reducing or eliminating the benefits workers receive. Employees earning the new wage say they have lost benefits such as 401k, paid holidays, paid vacation, free food, free parking and overtime hours. As one SeaTac worker put it, “It sounds good, but it’s not good.”
But workers aren’t the only ones paying for the high wage. Consumers are also picking up the tab, in the form of increased prices. Many SeaTac businesses have tacked on an additional fee to mitigate the increased cost of labor. On the receipt pictured above, a $6.93 “living wage surchage” was added to a $84.00 parking charge. That is the equivalent of a 8.25% tax.