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Texas Politics

Gov. Abbott says any Texas city that defunds police should have property taxes frozen forever

defund the police
Getty via CNN
'Defund The Police' is painted on a city street in the nation's capital.

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday proposed punishing cities that cut police funding by freezing property tax revenue, the main funding source for local government services including schools, roads and law enforcement.

Other top Texas Republicans joined Abbott in announcing what they promised would be a priority during the 2021 legislative session. The announcement came days after the Austin City Council voted to slash its police budget over the next fiscal year as the U.S. continues reckoning with racial injustice in law enforcement.

Details of the proposal were thin, including what would constitute a city “defunding” its police department, and the legislation is far from a done deal.

The proposal by the state’s top Republicans also comes less than three months before an Election Day that is expected to be the closest in decades in America’s biggest red state. President Donald Trump has zeroed in on a law and order message to boost his own reelection prospects, and on Monday called former Vice President Joe Biden a “puppet of left-wing extremists” who are out to “eliminate our police.”

Democrats need to win only nine seats in November to take control of the Texas House for the first time since 2002, a scenario that would all but extinguish Abbott’s proposal even before the Legislature returns in January.

Democrats blasted the announcement as an attempt shift attention away from the governor’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic that has surpassed 10,000 deaths in Texas.

“When crime is on the rise, the last thing we should do is defund law enforcement,” Abbott said during a press conference in Fort Worth, adding that he hopes Austin leaders will reverse their decision if his proposal becomes law. “We will ensure that these communities continue to be protected. ”

In his own press conference, Austin Mayor Steve Adler countered that Abbot should focus on protecting Texans from Covid-19, and he held a moment of silence for the dead.

Even with a recent increase in homicides, Adler said, Austin is a safe city. Budget changes, he said, were reflective of community conversations.

In a unanimous vote Thursday, the Austin City Council shifted about $150 million, or one-third, of next year’s $434 million police budget in favor of spending more money on social services, following moves of other cities in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd.

Adler reiterated that the changes would affect unfilled police positions. Some duties will be shifted to mental health, first responder and social worker jobs.

The mayor himself responded to some community pushback and referred only to $21 million as a cut, saying the other $129 million would be used to “move certain functions to civilian control.”

Sherri Greenberg, a former Texas representative and public policy professor at the University of Texas, said the state Constitution requires bills addressing taxes originate in the House, where it will be sent to a committee for review.

This kind of proposal is not unusual, Greenberg said, pointing to a bill from the 2019 legislative session that was approved and lowered the amount cities are allowed to collect from property tax.

Crime / News / Texas / Top Stories

Associated Press

Texas Tribune

Comments

47 Comments

        1. YOU LIE! Markturner you are full of crap as usual. You are not real moron. Just a figment of dumbass Alberto’s demented imagination. You don’t pay any taxes. NADA!

  1. The fact that people of such low character as Patrick and Bonnen are against defunding the police makes me think that those that are for it are onto something.

        1. nadodave and madmike are not police officers. Just right wing nut jobs. We need to stop besmirching our police officers here in El Paso by connectong these two scumbags to them.

          1. I’ve been in county, city and federal law enforcement for over 29 years, you socialist scum. You are a convicted child molester and registered sex offender.

  2. Defund police means you no longer get everything you want. Like expensive unnecessary items. In essence BLANK checks like you have been used to. School districts are the same thing. Border patrol is the same thing. Ask yourself honestly…do we need ford raptors for BP? Jeep rubicons? Why not less expensive f150s? How about firefighters buying Can Ams side by sides? Defunding to a certain level is FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY!!!!!!!!! YOU ARE NOT ABOVE THE LAW. YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO NOT TAX THE HELL OUT OF THE PEOPLE THAT PAY YOU.

  3. The gravy train is about to stop. The taxpayer can no longer be squeezed. I mean my property tax bill per year is higher than the P and I!!!!!!! Wtf? The US pyramid scheme is exhausted. The only way to resolve is to get more taxpayers into this pyramid scheme. Hence, responsible immigration policies to add more taxpayers to the bottom of the pyramid. Or, cuts cuts cuts. No more double dipping living the Madmike life.

  4. Seriously, we have college educated people who spent 6-8 years obtaining a degree, owe 100k or so, making less than police officers, CBP, BP. Granted some degrees are junk but I’m not talking about those. I personally know some LE making over 100k with all the OT, etc. I have family members that are police officers, border patrol, cbp. So I know what kinda crap is going on. The overspending and the strength of the unions need modification in an effort to control cost and MOST IMPORTANTLY LESSEN THE BURDEN ON THE TAXPAYER.

    1. Most libtards with worthless college degrees don’t qualify to be Federal law enforcement officers. You’d never pass the screening test moron. They filter out garbage like you.

      1. Thats strange. Most major cities require new police applicants to have a 4 year college degree. The days of hiring the Irish as they come off the boat are long gone.

          1. If you had been in law enforcement as you claim, you would have the ability to discern the difference between the four Mark Turners living in El Paso County. You continually confuse me with another Mark Turner so we all know you are not in law enforcement. My research shows that you were a security guard in Anne Arundel County, Maryland but you were fired from that job for misuse of a firearm when you killed a family pet in a dog park and they ran your mentally disturbed ass out of town. You are a human maggot and the citizens of El Paso County do not want you attempting to associate yourself with our fine decent law enforcement officers. On top of all that, you are a supporter of the orange buffoon, so we know what kind of scum you are.

          2. But you are none of the 4 markturners in El Paso so as usual YOU LIE! BTW – Your research obviously sucks.

      1. Now, now guys. Don’t get Granpa MierDave upset or he’ll soil his pants. The old Racist Fart just admitted that HE is one of the 6 Racist old farts on this site and threatened to kick ass. Watch out, he’s on a Rampage !

  5. I have been to Maryland two times in my life, first in EOD school in Indianhead, MD, and the second time was at Fort Meade, on the Army Pistol Team. “Three gun National Match”, for one year MTU#6. Obviouslyn your research is as screwed up as everything else in you retarded head.

  6. So, in Austin, if you’re carjacked at gunpoint, instead of calling 911, just call the coroner to pick you up. When Minneapolis defunded their police, property values plummeted and the number of houses put on the market went up 21% in a month.

  7. Exactly my point. These dummies are…..dummies. All their responses are Alberto. Lol. Trumpites with Jon brains. His base. And, in response to defunding police, THEY DO NEED TO BE FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE! No more blank checks. No more double dipping on the backs of taxpayers. Really it’s a physically taxing job? Well shit then construction workers should be able to retire in 5years! The spending going on as I stated in my article about driving raptors, rubicons, 30k side by sides, hi tech motorcycles, ludacrist OT, sitting on construction sites for 8-12hrs, etc NEEDS TO STOP. That’s defunding! Oh wait the union will advise not to ticket people in retaliation. Then, modify to where anyone not performing their jobs CAN BE FIRED. No wonder cameras have been fought tooth and nail. Claiming “storage” costs. The costs can be offset by FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY.

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