TCTU Releases 2014 Austin Congestion Relief Suggestions in Opposition to Urban Rail

Austin has a growing gridlock issue, principally between the hours of 7 – 10 a.m. and 4 – 7 p.m.   The intensity and duration of this gridlock will likely grow with population.  There’s no end-game solution in a growing city; however intelligent upgrades and keeping up with demand controls the problem.  Austin’s the only large city in Texas with no loop connecting its urban core arterials.  San Antonio has two (IH-410 and 1604), Houston has two (IH-610 and 8), Dallas has IH-635/20, Ft Worth has 820/20 and El Paso has 375/54.

Our city has a number of urban core intersections that could be optimized to improve traffic flow.   They’re contributors to lost time, higher emissions and congestion.  Our traffic control system needs a major overhaul.  Some progress has been made by programs like the Advanced Transportation Management System (ATMS), however we need more robust efforts to fund, design and implement a next generation traffic management system.




TCTU 2014 Austin Transportation and Mobility Report, by TCTU Analyst Roger Falk



Press Conference: OPPOSITION to Austin’s Urban Rail Plans Speaks Out

For immediate release:
Austin, TX — Leaders of three diverse groups, COST, TCTU, and Affordability Austin, announce opposition to a November urban light rail proposal.
Jim Skaggs, Roger Falk, and Bill Oakey, in that order, will each speak for about 3 minutes; all will be available for follow up questions from the media.  Opposition leaders are still awaiting details of the urban rail plan; important details have still not emerged after years of “planning”.
If the Austin City Council approves an urban rail resolution June 26th, it’s likely that within 6 weeks more urban rail details will be released from the City; these individuals will have additional comments on those future developments.
Says Jim Skaggs, Director of Austin’s Coalition On Sustainable Transportation:

“The frequent reporting of surprises and bad news regarding urban rail (increasing costs, taxes and congestion) to serve low ridership, and the fact that many key rail questions proposed by the Mayor and others are still unanswered after three years, make it irresponsible to place urban rail on this November’s ballot.”

Says Roger Falk, Transportation Analyst for Travis County Taxpayer’s Union,
Even if recent ideas like homestead exemptions to lower local taxes were implemented, the ‘relief’ could be wiped out by tax increases for the proposed Urban Rail system.  Commissioner Daugherty had the only sustainable solution for escalating property taxes: Limit spending.  Voting for every ‘want’ (affordable housing, boardwalk, library, etc.) has made Austins’ per-citizen tax burden 50% higher than San Antonio’s (adjusted for the utilities).  TCTU asks voters to reject rail in November.”
Bill Worsham, TCTU Analyst and Austin City Council District 10 Candidate, has also expressed urban rail opposition points and is available via cell phone at 512-422-0998.
Says Bill Oakey of Austin Affordability,
“The route from Highland Mall to East Riverside is not a densely populated area, and would do more to help land speculators and developers hoping to attract newcomers than current residents.  The $1 billion price tag could land you a property tax increase of $160 per year within five years on a $200,000 home.  That would come on top of a multitude of other tax increases between now and then. 
WHAT: Initial announcement of Light Rail Bond opposition
WHEN: 26th June (2014),  10:00 AM
WHERE: Austin City Hall 1st floor lobby
WHY: Austin’s Coalition On Sustainable Transporation (COST), Travis County Taxpayers Union (TCTU), and Affordability Austin, enumerate reasons to vote against possible November (2014) rail bond.
For questions or more information, contact Don Zimmerman at 512-577-8842



Travis County Taxpayers Union Urges Austin Voters to Reject Unlimited Taxes and Unsustainable Debt from School Bond Propositions

Press Advisory – Travis County Taxpayers Union Urges Austin Voters to Reject Unlimited Taxes and Unsustainable Debt from School Bond Propositions
Thurs., May 1, 2014

Austin, TX –
TCTU asks voters to reject Austin area school bonds in another attempt to reign in unaffordable debt and taxes.
As a probable consequence of the TCTU lawsuit against AISD last year, the Round Rock ISD heeded a demand letter from TCTU and complied with Texas Education Code — the subject of a drawn-out legal challenge presented by TCTU attorney Stephen Casey against AISD in 2013.
Texas law (Texas Education Code Chapter 45.003)  mandates the words “…the levying of a tax sufficient, without limit as to rate or amount…”, and for the first time in more than a decade, those words appear on a school bond ballot.
TCTU Founder and Treasurer Don Zimmerman adds, “We are pleased that the Travis County GOP Executive Committee unanimously passed a Resolution against the unlimited taxes of the Round Rock ISD Bond, and also opposed other Bonds.  We note that affordability is now a non-partisan issue in the Austin area.
Parents cannot afford unlimited spending on their kids, in spite of loving them far more than the government school does.
The government school must reign in debt and taxes, pay teachers more, pay bureaucrats less, and learn to live within a reasonable budget which doesn’t demand ‘unlimited taxes’.
TCTU urges renters, home owners, and small businesses to vote AGAINST increased taxes and debt; higher rents and taxes are driving many people out of the city.”
REFERENCE:  Travis County sample ballot:
“Round Rock ISD Proposition No. 1
The issuance of $234,155,000 of school
building bonds for acquiring, constructing and
equipping school buildings and purchasing
necessary sites therefor, including acquiring,
constructing, renovating, improving and
equipping school buildings, constructing a
middle school and an elementary school,
acquiring technology replacements, upgrades
and improvements and acquiring school buses;
and the levying of a tax sufficient, without limit 
as to rate or amount, to pay the principal of and 
interest on the bonds and to pay the costs of
any credit agreements executed or authorized
in anticipation of, in relation to or in connection
with the bonds”
Don Zimmerman



Special Interest Propaganda + over $250,000 of corporate money + City Government Lies = Another Taxpayer Loss

Few things expose the breathtaking hypocrisy of this City government and it’s profit-sharing political machine like this past Bond election.

In November of 2012,  about 120,826 voters said “NO” to the city’s demand for $78 million for an “affordable housing” Bond.  To these hypocrites who perpetually extol the virtue of “democracy”, this vote result wasn’t “democratic” at all because it did not satisfy the progressive demand for unending debt and taxation, and did not satisfy a progressive prophecy which declares, “of the increase of money and power upon Austin government, there shall be no end”.  For the Austin political machine,  “No means Yes”, or “No means ask again after $450,000+ of political propaganda and city government disinformation”.

Fast forward to Nov, 2013, when about 39,878 voters say Yes.  This of course is proof that “voters were educated” on the issue and “democracy” was served, in spite of the fact that over 91% of the voters said NO, or said nothing.  Shame on hypocrites claiming to champion “democracy” when they ignore the voice of 91% of the voters, and who claim fewer voters who say YES are “democratic” while more voters who say NO are not.

What TCTU finds alarming is the insatiable lust and greed this city government machine has for other people’s money and liberties.  Worse, that greed comes with a self-righteous god complex that they uniquely care about things like “affordable housing”, while God and the rest of us who work hard to pay our own way without burdening our neighbors, and pay all the taxes, and donate to true charities, don’t care enough, if at all.

What we need to remind everyone about is obvious — if Austinites had won the Nov, 2013 election, the greedy hypocrites would be back to try again.  Likewise, since we lost, the greedy hypocrites will be back to try again.

TCTU gives a hearty THANK YOU to all the volunteers and voters with TAG and the other smaller groups and individuals who worked for all of Austin, trying to RE-DEFEAT this un-affordable Bond.  These same self-righteous progressive hypocrites will be back — and so will we!

TCTU’s Roger Falk on YNN:–65m-affordable-housing-bond

TCTU’s Don Zimmerman on KEYE:



Nov 5th Election Watch Party for UNaffordable Housing Bonds, 7:30PM to 9PM, BB Rover’s Pub

Dear Taxpayer Friend — if you haven’t done so already, PLEASE VOTE!  Early voting results are encouraging because suburban Austin neighborhoods who defeated the Bond a year ago are voting relatively well compared to more central Austin locations.  Overall turnout is pathetic – as expected.

Please join us Tuesday Evening after the polls close:

What: TCTU Election Watch

Where:  BB Rover’s Pub,  12636 Research Blvd. Suite B-101 Austin TX 78759

When:  7:30PM to 9:00 PM

Why:  Meet-up with taxpayer friendly voters and activists and hope for the best (a taxpayer victory #2 on the Unaffordable Housing Bond)



Join EARLY VOTING RALLY against UNaffordable Austin Bonds, Oct 21st, 10AM

Join us at the Randall’s early voting location at Braker Lane and Research, Monday morning at 10:00 AM, to vote against new debt and taxes — Vote for more affordable Austin – Vote AGAINST increased debt and taxes!




PRESS CONFERENCE launches “No Means NO!” whistle-blower campaign against UNaffordable BONDS!


01-Oct-2013 — coverage–no-means-no–on-affordable-housing-bond


*Press Advisory — Travis County Taxpayers Union Launch “No Means NO!” whistle-blower campaign against City Government’s UNaffordable Housing Bonds on Nov 5th ballot:
PRESS CONFERENCE Oct 1st, 10:00AM, Travis County Commissioner Court Lobby

TCTU analysts will highlight reasons to vote against — and RE-defeat, the UNaffordable increase of debt and higher rents and taxes city government wants to impose on Austin residents.

TCTU Analyst Roger Falk will present facts underscoring how UNaffordable the City’s “affordable” housing program has become.

TCTU Treasurer Don Zimmerman will ask if taxpayers need to blow the “taxpayer rape whistle”, because City Council won’t accept “NO” for “will you give us more money?”.

TCTU assesses the City political machine’s top five responses to Austin voters saying “NO” to the November, 2012 UNaffordable Housing Bonds:

5. Just ask AGAIN for even higher rents, taxes, and debt;
4. Raise rents and taxes and utilities so more voters are dependent on government for housing;
3. Marshall more special interest money and voters for another low-turnout election;
2. Conceal private profits at taxpayer expense for housing project owners;
and number ONE:
1. LIE TO VOTERS that increased City spending and debt won’t increase rents and taxes.

“No means NO!” Blow the whistle, Vote Against the UNaffordable Housing Bonds

*WHAT: Press Conference launching campaign against City Government’s UNaffordable Housing Bonds on Nov 5th ballot.

*WHEN: Tuesday, Oct 1st, 10:00 AM.*

*WHERE: Travis County Commissioner Court Building, 700 Lavaca St. (1st Floor Lobby)

For more information, contact Don Zimmerman, 512-577-8842

The Travis County Taxpayers Union was established in 2012 to represent the
best interests of Travis County Taxpayers against special public and
private interests demanding subsidies at the taxpayer’s expense.


No means NO! Join TCTU in Opposing Austin’s Unaffordable $65 “Affordable Housing Bond!

Dear Taxpayer Friend -

Now that Austin has announced it has no respect for the vote of the taxpayers last year, who said NO to the un-affordable “affordable housing” Bond and the increase debt and taxes it brings for the benefit of a few persons favored by Austin bureaucrats, TCTU is announcing opposition to this issue in the November election.  Stay tuned for details to follow.  Fox 7 News did a short piece on this issue on the weekend:

Please contribute TODAY and make a note of “NO MEANS NO – Vote AGAINST Unaffordable Housing debt and taxes” with your contribution.



COMING NEXT — there is good news coming regarding our legal appeal against Austin ISD’s illegal Bond ballot language….



TCTU Announces August 13th MONEYBOMB!!!

In April, the Travis County Taxpayers Union sued Austin ISD for lying to voters about a potential tax rate increase in their recent bond election.

Last month, a Democrat judge in Travis County ruled for the district, but TCTU intends to appeal.

If we can take this case to the third Court of Appeal, we can win. The law is on our side. If we win we will, at a minimum, save taxpayers $500 million; this lawsuit, however, could restrict financial shenanigans that local governments can pull across the state of Texas.

Unfortunately, lawyers cost money; we need to raise $6000 to keep our guy out of the poorhouse as the appeal works through the system.

Normally, in politics, you need large sums of money to make things happen. Not this time. This $6000 investment on the front end could save taxpayers in Austin Hundreds of Millions of Dollars and (in a best case scenario) could save BILLIONS across the state.

Your generous donation of $10, $20, $50 or even $100 is essential to keep this shoestring operation solvent.

Please donate to the Travis County Taxpayers Union Moneybomb on Tuesday, August 13th 2013!!!

Donate here.

More information from TCTU here and Cahnman’s Musings here.