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Austin Prop. 2

List of businesses supporting the cause below:

We urge your vote for the passage of Proposition 2 which would put the brakes on a $65 million bad deal subsidy for the Domain luxury shopping mall.

The endorsers of Prop 2 rarely agree on anything!  (See list of endorsers that keeps growing!) But as Stop Domain Subsidies says, this is a no-brainer!

Prop 2 is really about something very fundamental to what this city is — still — all about. Our homegrown businesses are intrinsic to the culture of this city. We thought our Council understood that our local businessesthe economic engine for our city. They are why people come to visit here in the first place!

It is truly amazing that our City Council would use our tax dollars to fund national chains to compete with our local businesses.

In 2003, the public was given just one weeks’ notice by the City Council, on subsidizing this high-end shopping mall for the next 20 years.

  • The developer’s calculations projected a $37 million subsidy. Brian Rodgers, a small developer who read about it in the newspaper, calculated the real cost to taxpayers. Brian showed the Council how this calculation had to be false, and the projected subsidy would be much higher — approximately $64 million. After meeting with the Council’s recalcitrance, Brian took the issue to court and won a settlement with Endeavor Development and the City that would allow the city to walk away with absolutely no penalties.

Unbelievably, that’s when the Council started their mantra, “A Deal is a Deal.

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            David Adamson, President of the Austin Central Labor Council, upon the CLC’s recent endorsement of Prop 2, said:
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            “The revenue shortfall for the City of Austin required not funding around fifty city positions, raising the solid waste collection fees, raising fees for road maintenance and rolling closures of public libraries.  However, there is between $2 and $3 million dollars in the City budget to rebate to Simon Properties, the largest multinational shopping mall operator on this planet, to enhance their already highly profitable bottom line. The CLC supports a yes vote for the Stop Domain Subsidies City Charter amendment, Prop 2.”
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            Over 500 of our local businesses, many of them signature businesses like Alamo Drafthouse, Nuevo Leon, Opal Divine’s, BookPeople, By George, Bicycle Sports Shop, Guero’s and the list keeps growing, are backing Prop 2.  Prop 2 would stop the Domain subsidies and most future retail subsidies in the future.  Government picking winners and losers in the retail market, is unjust and economic policy.  (For a full list of businesses, just look to the right hand column of this page.)Â
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            A showdown is in the making for the soul of Austin.  The Chamber of Commerce board recently voted, unanimously, to work to defeat Prop 2, alongside Endeavor Real Estate, Simon Properties and former Councilmember Betty Dunkerley, who supported the deal in 2003.Â
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         They boast that they will raise between $250,000 and $500,000 to bury Prop 2.
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            Their slogan is, “Keep Austin’s Word”.  You can hear those same words coming now from the mouths of Councilmembers who know, in their hearts, that this deal is really bad for ALL of Austin! Â
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            We ask you, why should citizens be forced to fight City Hall on something so utterly obvious?  It is clearly time to show the Council who is boss in this city.  We might not agree on much, but this is the line in the sand that we urge you to stand behind.  Will you join us in taking back the Austin that is ALL of ours!?Â
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         Will you give your time and your money to make sure Prop 2’s true story is not buried in an avalanche of money spent by those who will brazenly try to bludgeon the voters with dishonest ads to insure they get their $65 million!
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            We are not anti-growth or anti-development.  We are simply and perhaps crudely stated, anti-hogs at the city trough!Â
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            Please join us.  We have the added fun of shaking up an elitist City Council that apparently is clueless to the fact that our property taxes just went up and the country is on the brink of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression!
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            Send your donation and send your troops to Stop Domain Subsidies right away.  We want enough money to get up on TV and radio and only need an additional $30,000 to make it happen. Â
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            Thanks for caring about our beloved city of Austin!
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                                                Sincerely, StopDomainSubsidie.com

 PS  It is ironic that the opposition to Prop 2 is using the “Keep Austin Weird” logo to support city tax dollars to a luxury mall. That IS truly weird, but not in a good Austin way!

Comments

Comment from Carol Goodwin
Time August 18, 2008 at 12:12 am

If this is only for Austin area voters, I can’t do anything about it anyway. But I would darn sure advise Austinites to do anything they can to stop it!!

Comment from Terry
Time August 19, 2008 at 9:15 am

Carol Goodwin says “I can’t do anything about it . . . ” Now this has changed, anyone can do something about it from the comfort of their home by helping viralize the SDS videos. See Help from Home

Comment from Randall Stephens
Time August 20, 2008 at 8:22 am

This message is spot-on. Money spent in local businesses is turned over HERE in our our area. Why should developers for high end stores get a break local businesses can’t get?

Let’s see; – Austin, I could place our new HQ here, or in Cedar Park or Round Rock.

I am not asking any of them for a handout, nor Austin but do have a sense of fairness.

All businesses can get free front pages brand item search results on AdBirds.com.
We will give away free what others auction on the www.

“List Free, Shop Smart, Save Gas”!!!

We open Labor Day 2008.

Randall Stephens
Founder, AdBirds.com

Comment from Helen Ingram
Time August 20, 2008 at 8:32 am

Stop giving away the store!

Comment from Kejeweler
Time August 20, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Interesting news! Keep us aware.

Comment from Carol Mizelle
Time September 18, 2008 at 5:16 pm

Thank you for your efforts to stop this madness. I can’t afford to shop at Neiman Marcus yet my tax money is being used to subsidize their new location. I think not!

Comment from bobby godsey
Time September 20, 2008 at 12:35 pm

do it!

Comment from Ben Livingston
Time September 23, 2008 at 3:48 pm

I remember when I was a kid in the early 70′s and hearing on the radio that Fairbanks Alaska was the most expensive & Austin, Texas was the cheapest city in the USA to live in…Man have things changed!
It’s a real shame that our city officials are so blatantly in bed with developers, and to this extent. When “no brainers” to stop struggling taxpayer’s handouts to high finance out of town corporate competition is an issue in our town like this, it makes me sad to think of the downward trend in ethics our local government has taken. The trend that smells as putrid as Washington DC these days. As a great man is saying lately, “I know we are better than this.” I am going to send this link to everyone I know here in Austin.

Comment from Ben Livingston
Time September 23, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Correction: Just SOME of our city officials that is…

Comment from Ada Blackwell
Time September 25, 2008 at 2:18 pm

Come on city officials, get out of bed with high dollar developers. I guess you don’t care where your tax dollars end up. Can you even afford to shop at the Domain?

Comment from Photographer
Time September 26, 2008 at 1:34 am

some neocons in the city have highers layers to try and stop the Yes on prop 2

see the ABJ or austin buisness jurnal
for the story

or hit the link

but i do have a question who’s side is ABJ on
big neocon big brother? or the Joes who make austin austin?

so the city is finding a way to provent this from going to the voters leasts thats what i get out of reading ABJ story

Comment from Eddie
Time October 2, 2008 at 2:17 pm

Generally I am against all forms of public subsidies as they foster corruption and distort the market. However, this is no longer a question about the value of subsidies or even the specifics of this particular debacle. The city, however misguided, incompetent, or corrupt, made a hasty deal with a developer. We are now obligated to honor this bad deal or risk loosing Austin’s credibility. The city’s trustworthiness is far more important in the long run than the lost tax revenues associated with this bad deal. Future business investments will be influenced by the city’s perceived credibility.

If you don’t like the deal, I urge you to punish the politicians who affirmed it – vote against them in the next election, start a recall, etc. However, we must accept responsibility for the commitments made by our representatives. It is a moral and practical imperative.

Comment from MarkEDenman
Time October 9, 2008 at 2:41 pm

I have read a bit from both sides of this issue. They make opposing claims, claims about the details on Prop 2, the 2005 court settlement, and the original deal.

I dont suppose the commoner is able to access the actual contract between the City of Austin and the developers of “The Domain” or get the exact wording of “prop 2″ ?

anyone has info on this feel free to email me raven.mark.d@gmail.com

Comment from LJCurtis
Time October 10, 2008 at 8:34 am

Hi Mark — all the information you asked for is documented under the “Archives & 7 Misrepresentations”. Be sure to scroll down to the very end, where the contract is. There are also links after each “misrepresentation” to back up our claims that the developer made claims to get the subsidy, that were false. Hence, the opposition’s mantra “Keep Austin’s Word” was something they’ve been forced to utter. SDS

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