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RECA joins opposition to $287M downtown Travis courthouse Bond

TCTU_Oct2015_CourthouseBondPC

Travis County Taxpayers Union (plus other groups) are holding press conference against downtown courthouse Bond:
Wed. Oct 14th 
11:30 AM
Austin City Hall outdoor plaza 
TCTU analyst Bill Worsham is leading the conference

 

NOTE — 22-Oct-2015 —  RECA has joined opposition groups:

http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/local/austin-real-estate-group-opposes-287-million-court/nn7tP/

http://communityimpact.com/2015/10/22/real-estate-group-opposes-travis-county-courts-bond/

http://kut.org/post/travis-county-s-courthouse-bond-campaign-challenger-emerges

http://kut.org/post/zimmerman-proposes-east-austin-location-new-county-courthouse

DRAFT Resolution TCTU has proposed against Bond, submitted to Travis GOP:

Whereas the $287 million Bond election for the proposed new downtown civil
courthouse on the November 3rd, 2015 ballot, is in addition to the $22 million
of non-voter approved debt used to acquire the downtown courthouse property
site, and;

Whereas, the most recent courthouse site selection analysis was performed in
1999-2001 by a committee consisting of Travis County and other government
employees (Sheriff, Dist. Att’y, Co. purchasing agent, Dist. Judge, Co. Att’y,
tax assessor, exec. mgrs. of other county agencies), and A Guiding Principal of
the Travis County Central Campus Study initiated in 2010 was to keep the
facilities downtown, meaning no other locations were considered or evaluated,
and;

Whereas, over 1,000 daily individual visits are now made to the current
courthouse facility, not including 275 employees or an unspecified number of
credentialed (frequent user) attorneys, with all three numbers forecast to rise,
while only 500 combined parking spaces are pledged, and crucial parking demand
is not part of the estimated project cost, and;

Whereas, Travis County is $695 million in debt with another $91 million of
additional debt issuance already planned for 2016, and;

Whereas, the additional $287 million courthouse debt proposal is less than
one-fourth of the eventual $1.2 Billion need identified by the Central Campus
Study within 25 years, meaning a projected need of at least two additional
rounds of similar magnitude of debt issuance during the life of the currently
proposed (20-year) bonds, and;

Whereas Travis County and Austin taxpayers already suffer the highest taxes and
fees of any major metro area in Texas, and;

Whereas Travis County and Austin residents have some of the highest electric
(PEC and Austin Energy) and water bills of any major metro area in Texas, and;

Whereas the new $287 million of Bond debt would cause an increase of at least
$13 per year for the ‘average’ property owner and an unknown increase to the
‘average’ renter, and;

Whereas real estate experts predict that the proposed downtown courthouse
property could be sold for at least $30 million, and could provide desperately
needed downtown residences remitting at least $120 million in new tax levy over
the next 20 years, and;

Whereas developers predict that a low rise civil courthouse project in
non-congested east Austin could provide many acres of free surface parking and
construction costs 25% to 50% lower than the downtown project, and;

Whereas at least three Austin City Council members (Houston, Troxclair,
Zimmerman) have supported a Resolution asking the Austin City Manager to
cooperate with Travis County on locating government owned land in east Austin
suitable for the new civil courthouse, and could possibly include a combined
city/county justice center, and;

Whereas Travis County has indicated they will not consider alternatives to the
current plan unless the Bond is defeated, then,

BE IT RESOLVED that the Travis County Republican Party urges voters to vote
AGAINST the Travis County civil courthouse Bond on the November 3rd, 2015
ballot.