Brigid's Blog: Thankful To Be An Austinite

Brigid Speaks to an SOS gathering
Courtesy: Austin Chronicle (Brigid Shea in 1992, Save Our Springs Coalition Director. Photo by Alan Pogue.)

As the Thanksgiving holiday draws near and families and friends gather to appreciate good food, quality time, and everything they have to be thankful for, I’m thinking even more about so many people who are being forced out of Austin because of our broken property tax appraisal system. And nothing is being done to fix it. 

I’m particularly thankful that I get to live in Austin. This really is a remarkable community and I’m proud to be part of it. 

I remember the moment I decided to make Austin my home. It was June 8, 1990, during a 17-hour, all-night public hearing at City Hall. I was among the thousands of people who were standing outside the council chambers protesting the massive Barton Creek PUD development that threatened to pollute Barton Springs. As a former reporter, I had covered many huge events, but I was amazed to see so many people from so many different backgrounds and economic groups and ages who had come down to City Hall to demand that the council protect Barton Springs. I decided in that moment that any place where people felt so passionate about protecting their natural springs was a place I wanted to make my home. I didn't know that the next year I would have the privilege to head up the Save Our Springs (SOS) initiative. I’ve been blessed ever since to be part of efforts to protect Austin’s great natural treasures. And, it’s part of the reason I feel so strongly about one of the big issues in my campaign--fixing the broken property tax appraisal process.

Courtesy: Austin Chronicle (All-night hearing on the Barton Creek PUD in 1990. Photo by Alan Pogue.)

The legislature created a loophole 10 years ago that is shifting the cost of skyrocketing appraisals onto homeowners. This process is forcing people out of their homes because they are experiencing such big increases in their appraisals that they can’t afford to pay their property taxes. I’ve lost track of the number of people who have told me they will have to move because they can’t afford their property taxes. This is unacceptable. We’re driving out of Austin many of the people who make it such a great place to live. That’s why I’ve made it a priority to work to fix the property tax appraisal process.

Click here to read how I plan to turn this problem around so that the people who have helped make Austin the remarkable community it is today can actually afford to live here.

Thank you for reading. My staff and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday week!


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